By Mrs. Stacy M Rzepka (Army Medicine)December 6, 2012
Blanchfield Army Community Hospital's community-based clinic, the Screaming Eagle Medical Home, recently earned the highest recognition attainable from the National Committee for Quality Assurance.
"Our productivity, patient satisfaction, continuity and wellness rates have been above Army Medicine standards since our inception, but it means even more when an external evaluator at the national level judges ours to be among the finest primary care facilities, not just in the Army, but in the nation," said Screaming Eagle Medical Home medical director Dr. Mark Trawinski.
The Screaming Eagle Medical Home was the Army's first community-based medical home, instituting the patient-centered medical home model which strengthens the patient and provider relationship, provides coordinated care with an entire team of medical professionals and focuses on patients' long-term wellness. The facility serves more than 7,500 Family members of active duty Fort Campbell, Ky. Soldiers who live in the Clarksville, Tenn. community.
To earn the three-year NCQA Level 3 Recognition, the highest possible level, the Screaming Eagle Medical Home team had to collect, analyze and submit information showing that they meet the NCQA standards in six categories. NCQA requires recognized facilities to enhance access to care and patients' continuity with their provider teams, keep track of patient data to help manage patients' wellbeing, plan and manage care using evidence-based practices, provide self-care support and community resources, as well as track and coordinate tests, referrals and other care for patients. Finally, the team had to show that they measure their performance and patients' feedback to continue improving the quality of care.
"The Screaming Eagle Medical Home team worked on this throughout the past five months while continuing to provide top-notch care to their patients," said Blanchfield Army Community Hospital commander Col. Paul R. Cordts. "I am proud of what they have accomplished and how well they care for the Family members of active duty Soldiers every day. We look forward to all our Family and Soldier primary care clinics transitioning to this medical home model throughout the next year."
The Army Surgeon General, Lt. Gen. Patricia D. Horoho, has said that one of her goals for Army Medicine is to move from a health care system that treats individual medical concerns to a system of health that promotes the overall wellbeing and treats the whole patient. The medical home model is the epitome of this goal.
"As the Army stands up medical homes, the Surgeon General wants each one to achieve formal NCQA recognition at Level 2 or 3," said Screaming Eagle Medical Home group practice manager Ken Russell. "We are not only meeting Lt. Gen. Horoho's goal, but we are showing our patients that that their medical home meets the national standards for organizing care around them, working more effectively in teams and successfully coordinating and tracking care over time. In the end, the patients really win because their care is efficient and our focus is on their long-term wellbeing."
While the NCQA recognition is the official means for medical homes to show their patients they are meeting the national standards, Russell said that his team truly values the positive feedback they receive from patients. "Their feedback helps affirm, on a more personal level, that we are meeting the patients' expectations as well as the national standards," he said.
"Every day we strive to provide safe, quality patient care and we hold ourselves to high standards," said lead clinical case manager Kathy Mathis. "We want to do what is the best for our patients by placing them at the center of their care team."