St. Johnsbury, VT – The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) has again awarded Northern Counties Health Care and its five medical practices (Concord Health Center, Danville Health Center, Hardwick Area Health Center, Island Pond Health & Dental Center, and St. Johnsbury Community Health Center) Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Recognition.
As stated on the NCQA website, “The Patient-Centered Medical Home is a model of care that places the patient at the forefront of care and emphasizes team-based care, communication, and coordination. Research shows that PCMHs improve quality and the patient experience, and increase staff satisfaction—while reducing health care costs. Practices that earn recognition have made a commitment to continuous quality improvement and a patient-centered approach to care.”
“For many years NCHC has been a leader in ensuring comprehensive, team-based, high quality primary care for all ages that facilitates partnerships between patients, families, provider teams, and community supports. PCMH Recognition is testament to the hard work and commitment of each member of our staff to high quality, accessible, patient-centered care,” said Kari White, NCHC Director of Quality Initiatives and Compliance/Privacy Officer.
Dr. Dana Kraus, physician at St. Johnsbury Community Health Center and NCHC’s physician lead to quality describes how NCHC achieves success and recognition. “We diligently track our quality measures, share them with staff, and discuss ways to improve them. Every month we reach out to groups of specific patients that are due to be seen. Every staff member helps to make sure that each patient gets the best care that they need. Nurses give vaccines and order cancer screening tests based on a protocol; front staff make sure all patients have a follow-up visit scheduled; and our care and community resource coordinators help patients connect to other services such as affordable medication, transportation, housing supports, insurance, childcare, etc. It is not uncommon for a patient to come in with a cough or sprained wrist, and leave with a tetanus shot, or an appointment for a mammogram, and a referral to meet with one of our on-site counselors or resource managers. It is a team effort from top to bottom.”