Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) is a new model of healthcare that has been adopted throughout the military healthcare system. By 2014, the McDonald Army Health Center (MCAHC) will establish six medical homes, with Troop Medical Clinic 2 (TMC 2) being the first to seek national recognition by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) a certifying body for primary care practices. The remaining medical homes will be located within the primary care clinics of Family Health, Pediatrics, and Internal Medicine.
“The staff at TMC 2 is excited to implement this model. We always look for new ways to improve the quality of care we provide, and this model will definitely take us to the next higher level," said SFC Cassandra Alam, the noncommissioned officer of TMC 2.
Army PCMH increases access to primary care, expands the definition of healthcare quality, and reinvigorates McDonald’s commitment to customer service.
As soon as a patient enrolls in one of McDonald’s primary care clinics, the MCAHC team will proactively engage the patient as a “partner in care.” The PCMH starts with a face-to-face encounter and expands from there.
Patients are assigned to a team of healthcare providers, i.e., physicians, nurses, behavioral health professionals, pharmacists, etc., to develop a comprehensive, personal healthcare plan. This includes ensuring delivery of preventive screening and services, managing chronic conditions, and promoting a spirit of health, wellness and trust. At this point, the patient becomes the center of their health care team. Collectively, patients and health care teams can take advantage of telephone and web-based communication to follow-up on health issues and concerns, share and update information, and coordinate care delivery.
“With the reinvention of Patient-Centered Medical Home, our enrolled patients have the opportunity to partner with their entire Primary Care Manager (PCM) team. This translates to superior access and healthier patients,” said Samara W. Walker, MCAHC’s PCMH champion/project manager. “Each PCM team is led by a physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner; who is supported by registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, Soldier medics, nursing assistants/medical assistants and medical receptionists. The PCM team approach for delivering a system of health becomes more personalized.”
Patient-Centered Medical Home services are easy to access, patient-centered, team based, and quality focused. As patients interact with their healthcare teams, they will immediately realize they have more flexibility in managing their own healthcare.
According to Dr. Ronald Mack, the chief of Pediatric Services, “PCMH will address all healthcare needs. It’s healthcare’s total package! It is team driven with the patient and family in the driver's seat, Mack explained. Their health care needs drive the bus! The healthcare team is responsible for improving outcomes from acute and chronic diseases of the patients and their family. Wellness and preventive care are the pillars of our medical home.”