The Nanticoke Physician Network, a part of Nanticoke Health Services, is proud to announce it has again received the highest level of recognition as a Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). All seven Nanticoke Primary Care offices, including the newest office in Delmar, have achieved Level 3 Recognition with offices scoring 96.5 out of 100 points or higher.
The goal of the Nanticoke Physician Network is to be a patient’s partner in health by serving as patients’ medical home; promoting wellness and providing preventive care, using evidence-based guidelines, supporting self-management; and coordinating a range of health care needs for patients across all settings. Being a part of a PCMH, a patient has better access to the help and support needed to take control of his or her health; to begin to move toward a goal of proactively managing health – not just reacting to an episodic health condition or health crisis.
The PCMH establishes a partnership between the patient, family, primary care providers, care coordinators, specialists and community service agencies. Working together, this team is able to better manage chronic conditions like diabetes or hypertension; work together to reduce potential health problems; give attention to preventative medicine; and connect patients to resources, even those outside of the primary care practice, to reduce gaps in care. The PCMH concept provides higher quality care through strengthened physician-patient relationships. More proactive, coordinated care often results in more personalized, effective and efficient medicine, helps patients live healthier lives, and can help reduce the cost of care for patients.
“A key component of receiving Level 3 Recognition is the Electronic Medical Record (EMR),” said Dr. Harry Anthony, Medical Director for the Nanticoke Physician Network. “Nanticoke Physician Network has had an EMR system for several years now. We are currently working to connect the Network EMR system to the one at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital to make patient access to their health information even easier.” Using the EMR, health care providers working within the Network of employed physicians can seamlessly and transparently share information about a patient, providing better communication and easier collaboration. This has resulted in better care outcomes for patients. The EMR system also flags patients overdue for a screening or test, or might benefit from a preventative care measure. This information can be reviewed by the health care provider before a patient comes for a visit. Then, during the patient visit, staff can be more proactive in meeting a patient’s needs. It also provides patient access to routine test results, provides important education or recommendations from their provider, helps them track medication, and send secure messages to their Network office provider.
“As an organization, we are very proud of the Nanticoke Physician Network and the efforts made by all its team members to ensure our patients have access to quality health care,” said Thomas Brown, Senior Vice President of Nanticoke Health Services and President of the Nanticoke Physician Network. “The team works tirelessly to continuously improve coordination of care, remove barriers to care, and to move patients to the center of all we do.”
PCMH recognition is provided through the NCQA, a national non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. Organizations using the NCQA symbol must pass a rigorous, comprehensive review, and must regularly report on performance. For consumers, this seal is a reliable indicator that an organization is well-managed and delivers high quality care and service.
To meet requirements for recognition as a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home, the NCQA has established twenty-seven elements and 178 factors grouped into standards of care including Patient-Centered Access, Team-Based Care, Population Health Management, Care Management and Support, Care Coordination and Care Transitions, and Performance Measurement and Quality Improvement. Level 3 Recognition is the highest level of recognition available through the NCQA.
“We are transforming patient care across our network and have seen tremendous progress in quality outcomes for our patients using the PCMH model. We are working diligently, pushing the envelope of care coordination to help ensure all our patients receive recommended screenings ultimately preventing cancer and detecting it earlier when it is more treatable,” said Lara Hudson, Director of Clinical Operations for the Nanticoke Physician Network. “We live this patient-centered model every day from the multi-specialties at the Nanticoke Health Pavilion Seaford to our newly now incorporated Behavioral Health.”