Medical home model takes adjustment, brings gains

Kerry Bonin, MPH, CHES
Program manager, primary care redesign, Providence Medical Group

June 12, 2013

As of this month, 15 of Providence Medical Group’s primary care clinics are implementing the new medical home model of care, which is both patient-centered and team-based. In January, clinics were assigned a practice coach to help guide them through medical home team formation.

This formation includes on-boarding new hires, completing space renovations so teams can be located near one another, communicating effectively with teams about the reasons and goals for the change, and developing team members in their new roles.

PMG-Glisan, a current transformation site, now has two patient-centered medical home teams.
“After early adoption of the model, we struggled, but have since gained recommitment from the physicians and things have taken off,” says Robyn LaPlante, clinic manager. “The most important lessons we learned are to have the commitment of a physician champion, to co-locate the teams, and to make sure everyone is in the right role and committed to making the team successful.”

Daniel Rosenberg, M.D., from PMG-Gateway, says the transition to new model of patient care took some adjusting. The benefits, however, already are apparent.

“Having a patient relations representative sitting in our pod, and having a patient-care coordinator really has changed our workflows and made it easier to be closer to the care of our patients,” he says. “And I like sharing an office with people. I often come upon problems that I want to bounce off of someone, and when my colleagues are out and I see their patients, I can tell them about it.”

The next phase of work will focus on team communication, such as daily huddles and team meetings, and conducting rapid-cycle change. It’s important for teams to start building a foundation of trust that ensures clinics become high-performing, patient-centered medical homes. Providence leaders have commented that they’re impressed by the heightened level of engagement from the clinics and their willingness to try something new.

Although this journey certainly can be complex and stressful at times, PMG teams are instrumental in helping to achieve Providence’s vision of answering the call of every person we serve: “Know me, care for me, ease my way.” For a “pulse check” from clinic managers at a few of our current transformation sites, visit the PMG site on Providence’s intranet.