Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics and the Locust Pediatric Care Group have once again received Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) recognition by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).
The primary care practices earned the status after continuing to meet NCQA’s six core elements: knowing and managing your patients; patient access and continuity; care management; team-based care; care coordination and care transitions; and quality and health outcomes. Akron Children’s primary care practices achieved initial PCMH recognition in 2018 and continue to exceed the PCMH requirements.
“Patient care has always been at the center of what Akron Children’s does,” said Joel Davidson, M.D., FAAP, pediatrician at Locust Pediatric Care Group and PCMH medical director for Akron Children’s Hospital. “The PCMH model allows the team to work together within a system of care. From the patient service representatives at the front desk to the health care providers, the entire team supports patient-centered care.”
Capturing and measuring quality data is an ongoing process for the Akron Children’s primary care teams.
“PCMH pushes us to measure,” Davidson said. “We don’t just think we’re doing the right things. We’re measuring to make sure we’re improving, such as increasing the rate of wellness visits, to meet the expectations of our patients and their families.”
Since adopting the PCMH model, Akron Children’s primary care has worked to improve access. From Saturday wellness check appointments to evening and weekend flu vaccine clinics that will be held this fall, services are available on days and times that make getting essential health care easier for busy families.
In addition, within the medical teams, Davidson said providers are now consistently screening for social factors affecting health.
“We encourage families to express what is happening in their lives that may not be an immediate medical issue but affects the child’s overall well-being,” Davidson said. “Food insecurity is the No. 1 identified need. Providers are now having conversations about specific needs, allowing us to connect families with community-based resources.”
Founded in 1990, NCQA is a private, nonprofit organization that uses measurement, transparency and accountability to highlight top performers and drive improvement. The PCMH care model puts patients at the forefront of care, which leads to improved patient satisfaction, staff morale and quality of care. PCMH is also associated with lower overall health care costs.