In its ongoing efforts to assist practices in utilizing technology to improve the quality and coordination of patient care, HEALTHeLINK recently recognized the achievements of 59 primary care practices, including five in Niagara County, that have reached Patient Centered Medical Home certification from the National Committee for Quality Assurance by using Western New York's clinical information exchange.
With the support of a New York State Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law Phase 10 grant, which was awarded to HEALTHeLINK, these practices used PCMH standards to organize care around their patients, utilize technology wherever possible, and work with other health care professionals to coordinate and track care over time, including arranging for appropriate care with other qualified providers as needed. In addition, HEALTHeLINK worked with Catholic Medical Partners, Health Now, Independent Health Association and P2 Collaborative of Western New York to support the implementation of these PCMH standards.
"Health information technology is a vital component of a fully functioning Patient Centered Medical Home model, as exhibited by these practices," said Daniel Porreca, HEALTHeLINK's executive director. "This certification shows a deep commitment by the practice to provide the highest quality of patient care."
By building on current health information and using improved clinical processes, these primary care practices are now able to pull labs, radiology and hospital results through HEALTHeLINK, and then integrate these results with electronic patient data generated from the practice to provide well-informed diagnoses and care coordination for patients. Throughout the three-year project, HEALTHeLINK more than tripled the original goal of assisting 15 practices in achieving PCMH certification.
Those following practices in Niagara County were recognized by HEALTHeLINK for achieving PCMH certification:
•Dr. Christopher Beney, Lockport
•Dr. Ronald J. Clarke, Niagara Falls
•Eaton Medicine, Lockport
•Niagara Family Medicine, Lewiston
•Suresh Sofat, MD, Lockport
•TMO Medical, Niagara Falls
The not-for-profit organization was established through funding from BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, The Catholic Health System, Erie County Medical Center Corporation, Independent Health Association, Kaleida Health, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Univera Healthcare and the Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law for New Yorkers Capital Grant Program from New York state. HEALTHeLINK also received one of the country's largest awards as part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Beacon Community Cooperative Agreement Program.
HEALTHeLINK stakeholders include a broad representation of health care professionals and organizations throughout the eight-county Western New York region, including the State University of New York at Buffalo, P2 Collaborative, Chautauqua County Health Network, the WNY Rural Area Health Education Center and local county public health departments.
For more information on HEALTHeLINK, visit www.wnyhealthelink.com.