The concept of practice transformation was developed over the past decade, but not until recently has the phrase started to have tangible meaning for those most impacted by it: physicians and their primary care practice teams. In simple terms, practice transformation aims to realign the physician’s office to a more patient-centric practice, generally known as a Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) or, following URAC, a Patient-Centered Health Care Home (PCHCH). Practice Transformation Institute, established in 2007 was the first non-profit organization in Michigan to address the need for training and education to realize the goals of practice transformation.
Practice transformation is accomplished by taking baby steps towards the particular goals that you have identified for your practice. Each baby step inches towards milestone goals like meaningful use technology, accessible office hours , coordination of care between the physician’s office, specialty physicians and myriad community resources, planned visits and team huddles, and smart office administration policies that address hiring, firing and performance reviews. Phew, that’s a lot of milestones! Don’t worry though. The most difficult part of practice transformation, like most journeys, is the first step. In this case, that is accepting the need to transform and investing time and money (at least up front) to make it happen. Once acceptance has been achieved, the practice transformation journey does get easier. That’s because there is an understanding and appreciation of the ultimate value in developing patient centric practices: improving patient health and quality outcomes and office efficiencies and creating a stronger, empowered physician/practice team.
This PTI blog, starting with today’s introductory post, isn’t intended to create converts to PCMH or PCHCH. It’s to serve as a soul mate on the journey for those who have decided to hit the patient-centric trail. I’ve done about 240 PCMH on-site validation visits in my career and am gearing up for URAC validations (PTI is the first organization in the nation to receive URAC’s PCHCH Auditor Certification) so expect to do hundreds more. I’ll offer input, suggestions and who knows, maybe even an occasional gripe along the way. Your comments are always welcome.