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Community Health Centers Roll Out Quality Improvement Results

2-3-12 Feature Story:

As part of its efforts to support ongoing quality improvement at community health centers, the League recently wrapped up the first round of a Partners HealthCare-sponsored GE Healthcare Performance Improvement Training. Codman Square Health Center, Dorchester House Multi-Service Center, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center and Lynn Community Health Center reported on their centers' performance improvement results after applying the training's "change framework" which includes learning strategies and tools to define problems, measure and analyze issues, engage stakeholders, implement changes to improve patient satisfaction and create plans to sustain effective changes.

Because of their longstanding experience in delivering patient-centered care, 33 Massachusetts community health center sites have been engaged by state and national health policy leaders to participate in two medical home initiatives that will help develop practice changes for all of the Commonwealth's primary care providers. The patient-centered medical home model provides benefits to both patients and caregivers. Patients gain more one-on-one time with their physicians and primary care team members and become better engaged in their long-term health goals and treatment decisions. At the same time, caregivers work more collaboratively in addressing patients' needs and in coordinating and monitoring their care.

Community health center participants are demonstrating improved access for patients through timely appointments for routine and episodic care, and proactively planning care with patients who are identified as having chronic illnesses or other health issues that require active management. These efforts in combination with ongoing health technology development at health centers will have a major impact on patient health outcomes and costs by reducing unnecessary ER visits, hospitalizations and overall utilization of expensive specialty care.

To view pictures from the GE Healthcare Performance Improvement participants' final presentation, please click here.

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