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ACP to develop quality improvement tools to support internal medicine practice changes

The American College of Physicians (ACP) has received unrestricted grants of nearly $50,000 each from United Health Foundation and Pfizer to develop quality improvement tools to support internal medicine practice changes around the patient-centered medical home model of care.

"The patient-centered medical home, in coordination with the other components of the health care delivery system, is the future of health care," says John Tooker, MD, MBA, FACP, ACP's executive vice president and chief executive officer. "The grants from United Health Foundation and Pfizer will help ACP to continue designing and implementing practice-based resources -- print, Web-based, CD/DVDs, audio, etc. -- that help internists and their office teams assess potential quality gaps and strengthen their performance on nationally accepted quality measures."

The patient-centered medical home, where a personal physician leads a team of health care professionals at the practice level who collectively take responsibility for treating and managing care of the whole person, is a conceptual model of care whose goal is to put the needs of the patient first. It can be the base from which health care services are coordinated to provide more effective and efficient care to the patient.

This model of care includes using health information technology; coordinating specialty and inpatient care; providing preventive services through health promotion; and using disease management and prevention, health maintenance, behavioral health services, patient education, and diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses, in a team-based environment.

"We recognize that to facilitate the type of practice transformation consistent within this model of care, programs, products, and services must be developed and employed in practice," says Michael S. Barr, MD, MBA, FACP, vice president of ACP's Department of Practice Advocacy and Improvement. "These grants allow us to develop resources for internal medicine practices."

ACP along with the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Osteopathic Association released "Joint Principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home" in March 2007. The set of seven principles describes the characteristics of a practice-based care model for providing comprehensive primary care for children, youth, and adults in a health care setting. Several additional organizations have since endorsed the joint principles.

ACP is actively involved in the national performance measurement movement, most notably through involvement in the National Quality Forum, the Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement, and the AQA (formerly the Ambulatory Care Quality).


Contact: Steve Majewski
American College of Physicians

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