Baylor Family Medicine earns prestigious recognition

July 1, 2011

Kudos to Baylor Family Medicine! A national organization recently recognized Baylor Family Medicine for its efforts to improve quality and efficiency of patient care.

The three Baylor Family Medicine clinics were recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance's Physician Practice Connections®-Patient-Centered Medical Home program because of their efforts using evidence-based, patient-centered processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long-term relationships between doctor and patient. Rather than just treating patients, doctors and staff work to coordinate care that supports prevention, health and healing.

Benchmark of patient-centered care

"Evolving primary care practices into true patient-centered medical homes is a long journey in continuous quality improvement for patients. The committee's designation shows that we have the tools, systems and resources to provide our patients with the right care at the right time," said Dr. Stephen Spann, professor and chair of family and community medicine at BCM.

Practices given this recognition demonstrate the benchmarks of patient centered care, including open scheduling, expanded hours and appropriate use of health information systems which include the use of an electronic medical record, coordinated treatments across various specialists and health care systems, e-prescribing and an internet patient portal.

Improving care, lowering costs

Nationwide, early evaluations of the program have shown promising results in improving overall care quality and lowering costs by increasing access to more efficient, more coordinated care. By avoiding unnecessary hospitalizations and emergency room visits, these early results are producing savings for payers, purchasers and patients.

The key program components include responsive care management, emphasizing preventive care, enhanced communications with patients and evidence-based guidelines for treatment of chronic conditions, use of information technology for prescriptions and care management, adaptation to patient's cultural and linguistic needs, systematic tracking of referrals and test results, and measurement and reporting of clinical and service performance.

To receive this recognition, which is valid for three years, Baylor Family Medicine had to meet the program's key elements. These standards are established in conjunction with the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Osteopathic Association.