11 Nov Results of Becoming a Patient-Centered Medical Home
Within the last 10 years, we’ve seen more and more practices make the switch from a traditional pediatric practice care delivery model to one known as the patient-centered medical home.
This care delivery model is designed to make it easier for patients and their families to receive holistic care from a practice that they trust. While there is accreditation associated with this care delivery model, practices that wish to pursue it need to organize the transformation themselves. Making this switch can be challenging, especially during a pandemic when so many practices are already struggling to deal with incredibly high volumes of requests and calls from patients.
However, becoming a patient-centered medical home (PCMH) can make a meaningful difference in the lives of your patients and their families, as it offers them a model for care that helps to ensure all their needs can be met in one place, with practice staff coordinating and communicating whatever services they require.
Making the Switch to a Patient-Centered Medical Home
When my pediatric practice, Triangle Pediatrics, initially chose to become a PCMH, it was purely a financial decision. However, as we dug through the policies and best practices, we began to see how much of an impact it would have on our patients and their families.
Our EHR Vendor, Office Practicum, was instrumental in setting up and improving our new policies and workflows. With OP’s robust data management features, it wasn’t long before our staff were able to see the positive outcomes as well. Making the switch to a PCMH is a lot smoother when you have the buy-in of your whole team.
Tips for Making Practice Management More Proactive
After making the switch to a PCMH, your practice staff will likely find themselves being asked to be much more proactive than they were while you were using traditional models of care.
Here are a few proactive procedures we found helpful for our practice.
Take advantage of predictive scheduling
One of the things we enjoy about Office Practicum is its predictive scheduling features. This helped to decrease the number of surprises that came up during appointments, which in turn allowed us to be more prepared before the patient arrived.
Check sibling charts during phone calls
One of the best ways to be proactive is checking sibling charts during phone calls with parents. This is not something we did when parents called to schedule sick visits, but it was helpful if there was already a child coming in for a well visit.
Open up scheduling further in advance
Previously, our appointments were only able to be scheduled 4 months out. As part of our ongoing PCMH transformation, we made our schedule available up to 14 months in the future. This allowed us to assist parents in scheduling an entire year of family well-visits, inoculations, and more.
The Importance of Good Follow-Up Workflows
One of the most important systems to master during the switch to a PCMH is the follow-up workflow from referrals and diagnostic tests. Again, this was an area where we came to rely on Office Practicum. Within the system, we can monitor outstanding referrals so our Patient Care Coordinator can follow up when necessary. If a patient felt better and decided not to pursue the referral, it could be marked accordingly so the update was visible to all relevant staff.
The workflows required from a patient-centered medical home may be new and unfamiliar, but by instituting simple systems with the help of a tool like Office Practicum, you can support your staff as they work to offer more holistic patient care.