Three Brooke Army Medical Center clinics have earned the National Committee for Quality Assurance's highest level of recognition as Patient Centered Medical Homes.

The NCQA recognized the General Pediatric Clinic and Adolescent Medicine Clinic as Level 3 PCMHs, while the Internal Medicine Clinic increased its recognition level from level 2 to level 3.

"This recognition demonstrates our emphasis on the entire patient and family experience," said Maj. (Dr.) John Poulin, chief, General Pediatric Service. "It proves to our beneficiaries that our clinic is recognized as meeting and exceeding national standards of care seen in our civilian counterparts."

Poulin credits the clinic's success to a staff that never is "satisfied with the status quo."

"Feedback from our parents and our staff is both vital and encouraged," he said. "We hold weekly meetings with our entire staff in an open forum to discuss our current clinic processes relating to clinic flow and patient care. It takes a special group of people to accept all feedback and use it in a positive manner."

The open communication is paying off, Poulin noted. The clinic maintains a 96 percent overall satisfaction rate in its delivery of care and, per surveys, 97 percent of its parents would recommend the facility to others.

BAMC's Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine Service also stands out for its excellence in care, noted retired Col. (Dr.) Christopher Dillon, former chief, adolescent medicine.

The service is the largest of its kind in the world, he said, serving as a Patient Centered Medical Home for patients from ages 12 to 25.

"It is the only military adolescent medicine fellowship, producing more adolescent medicine subspecialists than any other fellowship in the world, while also training nearly 150 residents and students from military and civilian residency programs," he said, noting it's also the only adolescent medicine service in South Texas.

"Our patients should infer, as most of them already know or have experienced, that the Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine Service provides the highest quality of medical care," he added. "We received the highest level of recognition offered by NCQA. It is a confirmation of excellence."

For the Internal Medicine Clinic, NCQA recognition is validation that the clinic is delivering a high level of patient care expertise with a strong focus on care coordination and inter-service communication, said Maj. (Dr.) Long Nguyendo, Internal Medicine's medical director, noting that the IMC was first recognized by the NCQA in 2013.

"We take care of a large group of patients with multiple complex disease processes that require a significant amount of care coordination and medical expertise," Nguyendo said, noting that patient satisfaction is over 96 percent.

With patients always at the forefront, the clinic is planning to expand patient services even more in the future with a geriatric clinic and increased access to the procedure clinic, the doctor added.

NCQA -- a private, nonprofit organization -- recognizes clinics that emphasize care coordination and communication. It's the most widely used way to transform primary care practices into medical homes, which aim to improve patients' and providers' experience of care, noted PCMH Project Manager Calvin Williams, Clinical Operations Division.