Mount St. Mary's primary care sites earn designations as Patient-Centered Medical Homesby jmaloni
Both neighborhood health center and primary care campus location earn designation
Mount St. Mary's Hospital has acknowledged that both its neighborhood health center and on-campus primary care medical services have earned the prestigious designation as Patient-Centered Medical Homes by the National Committee on Quality Assurance. Both facilities earned Level 3 designation, the highest level that can be achieved.
The announcement was made by Mount St. Mary's President and CEO Judith A. Maness, FACHE, who credited the achievement to the work of the staff of the facilities for meeting the stringent requirements. She specifically cited John Sauret, M.D., medical director; Bernadette Franjoine, senior director - operations; and center Director Patricia Villani for the neighborhood health center; and Philip Sauvageau, M.D., Laurie Merletti, senior director of clinical excellence; and Donna Moore, office manager.
The designation comes after a more than yearlong initiative to evaluate and re-design all activities related to providing care to patients and recognizes the initiative of providing patients with enhanced access to care.
"The concept behind being a medical home is based on teamwork involving the medical providers, staff and patients," Villani said. "We have found that communication is the key and we keep in constant touch with our patients to help ensure their care is progressing. Testing such as lab work and X-rays as well as referrals to specialists are being tracked to make sure patients can comply with the providers' orders. We have already shown marked improvement in our quality measures and patient outcomes since this project began."
"One of the enhancements initiated as the result of the process is the addition of care coordinators at the sites," Moore said. "These individuals monitor the care a patient is receiving and track progress and the records of patients are also now part of the Mount St. Mary's electronic medical records system, which helps ensure that physicians and other care providers are fully aware of the medical issues facing each patient." The system includes ePrescribing, which sends prescriptions directly to a pharmacy, improving timeliness and safety.
Individual patients also have the ability to log onto a computer and access their information from a secure website. Patients can see test results and other information about their care and can stay involved in the care they are receiving, which improves the overall quality of the outcomes of their care.
The NCQA describes its Patient-Centered Medical Home designation as recognizing excellence in primary care by providing care in a setting that facilitates partnerships between individual patients, their personal physicians and, when appropriate, the patient's family.
Patients play an important role in their care. Through PCMH, patients are educated to better understand their condition. The care team works with the patient to set achievable goals, discusses medications and treatment plans, and makes sure the patient leaves the office with a clear understanding of what is expected of them. A written summary of the visit is also provided.
In 1992, Mount St. Mary's opened its original health center in the Highland Avenue neighborhood in space rented at the Doris Jones Resource Building of the Niagara Falls Housing Authority. In 2009, construction was completed on a new, $1.7 million facility at 3101 Ninth St., at the corner of Profit Lane, which doubled the size of the facility. It serves more than 14,000 patients annually. Services provided include primary care, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, and case management.
The on-campus primary care medical services opened in 2010 and includes Sauvageau, Sami Raphael, M.D., and Sandra Sauvageau, N.P., as providers. It provided service to 9,000 patients last year.