Cornell Study Finds Primary Care Quality Increased with Coordinated Care
A study conducted at Cornell’s Weil Medical College in Ithaca New York found that a coordinated model of team-based care, when paired with health information technology, benefits patients more than any other model of care. Primary physicians are more likely to recommend preventive screening for a range of issues from mental to physical in this care model, according to the study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine..
The study compared quality of care provided by physicians using the patient-centered medical home model (PCMH) to physicians using non-PCMH methods. The evidence proved that the PCMH model provided better patient care overall. Those practicing PCMHs showed a significant improvement in quality of care over a period of time over the non-PCMH doctors. Dr. Lisa Kern, an associate professor of health care policy at Weill Cornell Medical College, found that “the PCMH model combines electronic health records (EHRs) with organizational changes, including changes in the roles and responsibilities of clinicians and staff. It was the combination of EHRs plus organizational changes that was associated with the greatest quality improvement; EHRs alone were not enough. Weill Cornell Medical College
PCMH is a health care organizational model which has been in the spotlight since the Affordable Care Act encouraged it use and offered incentives for its use. The model is based on personal, ongoing relationships with a team of professionals and a patient. Care is coordinated across all types of health care, from specialties to hospitals, and any other health care provider or facility where the patient receives care. Through the use of electronic health records, or EHRs, medical professionals are able to review charts and communicate with each other, better coordinating care. Over time, patients receive more targeted tests and more preventive care through this collaboration.
A PCMH works well without an EMR, however, the Cornell study found that technology improves communication across all parties involved. Patients stay informed on personal health and maintenance and help guide a provider’s decisions regarding tests and care. A medical practice can register as a PCMH, but certifications and proof of proficiency across many performance standards are necessary.
However, the study was meant to encourage more providers to become a PCMH and work with other PCMH’s in the complete care of the patient. The study compared practices using EHRs and which were PCMH’s against non-PCMH’s using EHR’s, and against practices who were non-PCMH’s not using EHR’s. The findings were that, over time, those practices using PCMH’s scored higher overall in patient results than those not using the model. It is important to remember that the success of the PCMH was independent of the EHR. On it’s own, EHR seems to be inefficient in assisting in better care. When paired with PCMH, EHR is better. The two systems seem to work best together.
Please call Vancouver Home Health Care Agency to talk more about coordinated care and how it will benefit you.
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