Celebrating Medical Home Certification!

Celebrating Medical Home Certification!

As I alluded to late last year, my practice applied for NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home certification. We just got word last week that we achieved Level 3 status, scoring 91/100 available points (needing 75 to get to level 3)!!!

First of all, I have to thank my office staff and my family for putting up with me through the application process. As much as I am a control freak and detail-oriented on a regular basis, multiply that tenfold during this journey. I heard horror stories from colleagues who applied and did not get credit for many parts of their application. I was bound and determined to learn from their mistakes, and use my fastidious nature to not only get recognition, but nail it! (Yes, you can add overachiever to the other adjectives.)
My second thanks goes out to all of my colleagues who braved the way before me and were willing to share their experiences. That’s one of the great things about being a pediatrician. We really do work in a community of colleagues who believe in sharing their knowledge and experience. Unfortunately, we have also gotten used to adadpting programs and initiatives designed around adult medicine for use in pediatrics. This is no small feat when it comes to Medical Home. At least I didn’t have to take an adult-based EHR and adapt it for use in my office, I had a pediatric-based EHR from the start!
For those of you who are considering Medical Home application without an EHR, I can tell you there are practices who have accomplished it, but not easily. They have developed some form of tracking system for patients that included spreadsheets and the need to track information with lots of manual entry. I am very glad that in the course of my usual workflow, most of the necessary data was already captured. Where I needed to record additional information, Office Practicum was designed so that I could customize templates and workflow in a way that put the necessary information right in front of me.
While much of the Medical Home application centers around documenting that you have office policies and procedures, evidence that you monitor how well you implement and use them, and proof that you utilize those results to improve performance, calculating the results for many of the measures can be a challenge. With that in mind, my final thanks goes to my husband, Greg Anderson, CIO of Connexin Software. I don’t understand SQL and I have only recently added the word “query” to my everyday vocabulary, but analyzing data stored in the EHR is where the power lies. As part of my application process, Greg developed a metric reports module, the Quality Improvement Calculator (QIC), which will enable OP users to calculate and report metrics for Meaningful Use, Medical Home, and other regional/local QI programs. Christmas almost didn’t happen in our house, because I threatened to cancel all celebrations if I couldn’t submit my application prior to the holiday…..but in the end the work got done.
To my OP colleagues who braved the way before me and figured out how to extract the data without the QIC, my hat’s off to you. This is definitely one time that it pays to have inside access to the brainpower of the software developers. To my OP colleagues, or wannabe OP colleagues who have not embarked upon any gathering or reporting of QI data, here’s where the pediatric community gives back. You will have the opportunity to directly benefit from what we learned. When pediatricians just like you, practicing medicine in the real world, drive the development of the software, the outcome is a product that works for pediatrics.
Thanks everyone! Greg, I will wait until the summer to tell you my next project 🙂