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Ellsworth clinic lauded for quality care

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The National Committee for Quality Assurance announced Ellsworth Medical Clinic has received Level 3 recognition from the Patient Centered Medical Home 2011 (PCMH 2011) program for using evidence-based, patient-centered processes focusing on highly coordinated care and long-term participate relationships.

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The clinic is proud to achieve the highest level of recognition from NCQA, as this demonstrates its commitment to patient-centered care.

The patient-centered medical home is a model of care emphasizing care coordination and communication to transfer primary care into "what patients want it to be." Research shows medical homes can lead to higher quality and lower costs, and improve patients' and providers' reported experiences of care.

The PCMH identifies practices promoting partnerships between individual patients and their personal clinicians, instead of treating patient care as the sum of several episodic office visits. Each patient's care is tended to by clinical-led care teams who provide for all the patient's health care needs and coordinate treatments across the health care system. Medical home clinicians demonstrate the benchmarks of patient-centered care, including open scheduling, expanded hours, and appropriate use of proven health information systems.

"The patient-centered medical home raises the bar in defining high-quality care by emphasizing access, health information technology, and partnerships between clinicians and patients," said Mary Boles, Clinical Support Staff Manager and Quality Manager. "PCMH Recognition shows that Ellsworth Medical Clinic has the tools, systems and resources to provide their patient's with the right care at the right time."

To receive recognition, which is valid for three years, the clinic demonstrated the ability to meet the program's key elements embodying characteristics of the medical home. The standards are aligned with the joint principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home established with the American College of Physicians, The American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Osteopathic Association.

The clinic met key program components in the following areas:

--Written standards for patient access and continuity of care;

--Use of patient feedback materials;

--Appropriate use of charting tools to track patients and organize clinical information;

--Responsive care management techniques with an emphasis on preventative care for individual patients and for the entire patient population;

--Adaptation to patient's cultural and linguistic needs;

--Use of information technology for prescriptions, test and referral tracking and coordination with other health care providers;

--Use of evidence-based guidelines to treat chronic conditions;

--Measurement and reporting of clinical and service performance.

For further information, contact the River Falls Medical Clinic at 715-425-6701 or www.rfmc.org, or contact NCQA Customer Support at (888) 275-7585.

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