For Immediate Release
April 8, 2013
For more information, contact:
Glenda Silvey, (918) 660-3317 or (918) 770-2407
Karen Mulkey, (918) 660-3098 or (918) 625-5698
TULSA, Okla. – The OU School of Community Medicine and four OU Physicians teaching clinics have received one of the country’s top recognitions for quality primary health care. The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) granted OU Physicians Community Health, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Clinics Level III recognition – the highest given – as Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMH). The clinics are the only medical practices in northeast Oklahoma at this time to earn the NCQA PCMH 2011 program designation.
NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. It accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations and manages the evolution of HEDIS®, the performance measurement tool used by more than 90 percent of the nation’s health plans. Applicants must pass a rigorous, comprehensive review process developed with the input of employers, consumers, labor representatives, health care plans and major national physicians organizations. The process also requires consistent analysis and measurement of improvements. The NCQA seal is considered a reliable indicator of sound management practices, efficiency, high-quality patient care and service.
In 2012, OU Physicians Clinics chose the Patient-Centered Medical Home model for its practice groups, which emphasizes team work and technology to transform the doctor-patient relationship from a series of sometimes disjointed visits to an ongoing partnership. A personal physician leads a team of health professionals in managing a patient’s care. PCMH focuses on communication with patients – such as reminders about check-ups, scheduling necessary tests, or arranging referrals to specialists – to help them achieve long-term good health. Patients also receive quicker appointments for urgent problems, access to their care team through secure email, and proactive scheduling for preventive care such as screenings and immunizations. The use of the electronic medical record (EMR) is a strong component of the PCMH model – among its uses is a clinical visit summary at the conclusion of the patient’s appointment, including medications, diagnosis, patient instructions and pending orders such as lab tests or x-rays.
“OU Physicians is extremely proud to receive the NCQA’s recognition for our efforts to deliver the best possible care to our patients,” said F. Daniel Duffy, M.D., Dean of the OU School of Community Medicine. “The PCMH model promotes patient-centered, proactive, coordinated care that improves access and patient engagement.”
NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane said, “The Patient-Centered Medical Home promises to improve health and health care. The active, ongoing relationship between a patient and physician in medical homes fosters an all-too-rare goal in care: staying healthy and preventing illness in the first place. PCMH Program 2011 recognition shows that OU Physicians Clinics have the tools, systems and resources to provide patients with the right care at the right time.”
William Yarborough, M.D., vice chair for clinical affairs, OU Physicians Internal Medicine, says the PCMH model not only promotes a better experience for patients, but also for everyone on the health team and staff. “Everyone collaborates in the goal of producing better health outcomes for patients, and that’s rewarding. And the data we’re gathering provides frequent, reliable feedback that allows us to continue improving patient care.”
The University of Oklahoma College of Medicine’s School of Community Medicine education track is the first medical program of its kind in the nation. Created in 2008 with a $50 million dollar donation from the George Kaiser Family Foundation, the school’s mission is to improve the health status of all Oklahomans, particularly those in underserved rural and urban areas. The school and its physician practice, OU Physicians, includes more than 300 physicians and some 70 medical students. They perform approximately 259,000 patient visits per year. For more information about the OU School of Community Medicine, call (918) 660-3098 or visit http://tulsa.ou.edu.