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National quality committee recognizes UT family medicine clinic in TMC

The UT Family Medicine Associates clinic in the Texas Medical Center has received a special designation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a model for patient-centered care. The clinic is part of UT Physicians, the medical group practice of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School.

UT Family Medicine Associates was designated a NCQA Recognized Patient-Centered Medical Home, a model of healthcare delivery that aims to improve quality and efficiency.

"This honor is the result of the hard work of everyone here on the staff," said Carlos Moreno, M.D., professor and C. Frank Webber Chair in Family Medicine in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the UTHealth Medical School. "This recognizes our efforts to provide high-quality, evidence-based, patient-centered care to all of our patients."

The NCQA operates a program called the Physician Practice Connections Patient Centered Medical Home (PPC-PCMH), which recognizes practices for their use of the model that seeks to build partnerships between individual patients and their personal physicians instead of treating patient care as the sum of several sporadic office visits.

NCQA President Margaret E. O'Kane said, "PPC-PCMH Recognition shows that UT Family Medicine Associates has the tools, systems and resources to provide their patients with the right care at the right time."

In the patient-centered model, each patient's care is managed by a physician-led care team, which provides for all healthcare needs and coordinates treatment. Expanded hours and appropriate use of proven health information systems are part of the mix. Same day appointments are normally available.

"We credit our electronic health record system in playing a big role in the Patient-Centered Medical Home designation," said Olasunkanmi W. Adeyinka, M.D., clinic director and assistant professor of family and community medicine at the UTHealth Medical School. She singled out Akber Mazhar, MHA, physician office administrator, and Liza Rodriguez, clinic coordinator. "Akber was instrumental in ensuring that the practice's policies, procedures and processes reinforced the necessary guidelines as prescribed by NCQA to achieve this prestigious recognition. Liza played a key role in ensuring chart data for our patients met required quality thresholds. The combination of effective electronic medical record utilization and the clinic's leadership contributed to the practice's transformation, allowing us to weave exceptional quality care into the fabric of our clinical processes and operations."

To earn this recognition, UT Family Medicine Associates demonstrated the ability to meet the program's key elements, including written standards for patient access and enhanced communications; appropriate use of charting tools to track patients and organize clinical information; responsive care management techniques with an emphasis on preventive care; adaptation to patients' cultural and linguistic needs; use of information technology for prescriptions and care management; use of evidence-based guidelines to treat chronic conditions; systematic tracking of referrals and test results; and measurement and reporting of clinical and service performance.


Contact: Robert Cahill
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

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