Why Your EHR Vendor May be a Good Consulting Resource for PCMH Transformation
The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model is becoming widely acknowledged as a key to health care reform. Today, more than 7,600 practitioners at more than 1,500 locations across the country have achieved PCMH recognition through NCQA. Medical home recognition carries numerous benefits, including national recognition, increased market competitiveness and the potential for increased reimbursement. Adopting the patient-centered model of care positions your organization for participation in new and existing pilots/demonstration projects and for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
But the process of transforming into a PCMH is no minor change; it requires a total redesign of the care delivery process. Practices pursuing PCMH recognition must implement workflow changes and put in place new policies and processes to adhere with PCMH standards. With so many regulatory compliance issues to juggle, including Meaningful Use, ePrescribing and the Physician Quality Reporting System, how is your organization to find the time for PCMH transformation? If you, like so many other physicians today, are feeling overwhelmed, don't go it alone. Seek help from a technology consultant who is experienced in implementing the workflows and processes necessary to achieve medical home recognition.
Along these lines, your EHR vendor can be a great consulting resource for your organization. Unlike third-party consultants, your EHR vendor should know exactly how to configure the software and implement workflows necessary for achievement of PCMH recognition. Depending on your vendor's experience in the PCMH arena, they may be able to provide you access to full correlating reports, sample policies and procedures, and step-by-step best-practice workflows. They may also be able to offer lessons learned from other clients who have earned PCMH recognition using their EHR and technology solutions, such as patient portals. While third-party consultants can merely offer assistance in navigating PCMH standards, vendor consultants can readily teach you how to most efficiently use your EHR software to implement the NCQA medical home model of care and to improve care team workflow efficiency. This type of system optimization can drive substantial return on investment beyond the goal at hand, including operational efficiency, usage gaps, reductions in risk and liability, revenue enhancement opportunities, and overall quality of care improvements. With all of this in mind, be sure to ask your EHR vendor what kind of services they provide to assist clients with PCMH transformation. And if your vendor doesn't support PCMH transformation, consider making the switch—you need an EHR partner that can help you every step of the way.