Tag Archives: PCMH

Use PCMH Principles to Improve Vaccination Rates

 John Epling, MD, MSEd

John Epling, MD, MSEd

What does it mean to be a medical home? In these times of Accountable Care Organizations, patient-centered medical home (PCMH) certifications, and Medicaid Redesign projects it can be easy to lose sight of a meaningful way to measure our progress toward becoming a PCMH. Examining our practices’ ability to deliver vaccinations across the lifespan can help us understand where we fall along the medical home spectrum.

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Improving Immunization Rates Through Creation of a Practice Care Team and Vaccine Champion

Pamela Rockwell, MD

Pamela Rockwell, DO

This is part of a series by the STFM Group on Immunization Education for National Immunization Awareness Month.

The CDC estimates that vaccinations will prevent more than 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths among children born in the last 20 years. The Affordable Care Act requires health plans to cover Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) immunization recommendations made after September 2009 without cost-sharing to patients.

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Aligning Our Efforts to Transform the System

Robert Cushman, MD

As a longtime member of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) and the incoming president of the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association (CFHA), I am both excited and a bit anxious about taking on this role at this time, because we are truly at a critical juncture. As health care providers and educators, we offer clinical services in a “system” that is about to either continue making important strides forward toward becoming a true system achieving meaningful outcomes or to slip backward into the free-for-all chaos that has complicated delivering good, patient-centered care for decades. We need to work together as members of STFM and CFHA to navigate through these twists and turns, or plow through some obstacles, so that we, our trainees, and our patients and communities, come out in better shape on the far end.

I want to share one of the “clinical pearls” I learned in my residency, which has served me well as a “compass,” and which I have quoted (with attribution!) many times to my own trainees as I precept them in the hospital and the office. I offer it now because it is applicable beyond the direct patient care process. I can still hear Tom Campbell saying, “When you’re stuck, expand the system.” He of course meant to explore more into the patient’s family and community context, gathering the perspective of some of those folks that make up that social network or enlisting their assistance in changing parts of that context to achieve change for the patient. He also meant to ask for input and additional, new, and different perspectives and suggestions from one’s professional colleagues, both diagnostically and for interventions. This approach has proved hugely valuable to me, repeatedly. And I think the current emphasis on team-based care is a result of a collective recognition that this systemic approach is valuable and more effective than “going it alone.”

I want to challenge us all to continue to “expand the system” in three ways. I want us to expand our concept of teams, to expand our measurements of what we’re doing, and to expand our reach. Let me elaborate briefly on each of these.

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