Patient Centered Medical Homes (PCMH) Standards
In May, the Aspire Health Center achieved recertification status for the 2011 Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH)standards. We are currently preparing to submit for certification based on the 2014 Standards. The 2014 Standards will raise the bar of quality for the Health Center even higher than previously. PCMH is a way of organizing primary care that emphasizes care coordination and communication amongst providers. It is a way to transform health care into what patients want it to be. Patient Centered Medical Homes can lead to higher quality and lower costs and are designed to improve patient experiences of their care and help to cultivate better experiences between patients and their providers. Evidence has shown that PCMH models deliver
high-quality care that can lead to lower costs and provide better health outcomes.
Dr. Cowan Trains Ethiopian Residents
Dr. Richard Cowan recently traveled to Ethiopia as part of an educational expedition with a team of Psychiatrists to train Ethiopian Psychiatry residents. The four-week program, called TAAPP (Toronto Addis Ababa Psychiatry Project), included attending rounds and participating in patient evaluations. TAAPP was formed in 2003, and Dr. Cowan and his wife were honored to be the first non-Canadian Psychiatrists to participate in training 22 Ethiopian residents. Dr. Cowan reports that in the past, Ethiopians with mental illnesses were treated by priests using “Holy Water”.
Now, because of TAAPP, the local priests are more open to allowing current treatments for mental illnesses. A motto of TAAPP is: Think Big, Act Small, Start Now. Join us in offering Dr. Cowan the highest praise for lending his expertise to such an important project and helping to serve those in need!
This year, the Aspire Special Needs Health Center will submit data on Meaningful Use (MU). Meaningful Use is a structure designed to create improved efficiency of electronic medical records through a model which also:
• Improves quality and safety and reduces health disparities among patient groups.
• Encourages patients, their families, and/or caregivers to engage more with their health care providers.
• Improves care coordination.
• Maintains privacy and security of patient health information.
Meaningful Use is designed to educate and empower patients to become better consumers of health care.
Accountable Care Organization
As part of the Affordable Care Act, there has been an emergence of many patient care models which are designed to provide care to patients in a way that embraces a higher level of quality. These models also stress the importance of patients having access to healthcare and to a broader array of services as well as more structured clinical follow up. An Accountable Care Organization (ACO) is a group of health care providers who come together voluntarily to give coordinated high-quality care to patients. Coordinated Care ensures that patients, especially the chronically ill, get the right care at the right time while avoiding unnecessary duplication of services and preventing medical errors. When an ACO succeeds in both delivering highquality care and spending health care dollars more wisely, it shares any savings it achieves in the Medicare program. ACOs will be an important part of the healthcare landscape in the future.