• October 31, 2014

Four Fort Hood clinics earn honor for care

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Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 4:30 am

Four Fort Hood health clinics received the highest recognition available for patient-centered care from the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center’s Thomas Moore Health Clinic, Bennett Health Clinic, Russell Collier Health Clinic and the Family Medicine Residency Center now bear the committee’s seal of approval after a year of transitioning to the new model of care.

The clinics met enough requirements for the committee to designate the clinics as “Level 3” clinics — the highest possible.

Patient-centered care is looking not just at what brought a person in for treatment, but their overall health, said Maj. Paula Amundson, health care administrator at Darnall.

“The surgeon general’s big push is system of health — very preventive,” she said. “They want to get you healthy in a comprehensive care episode so don’t have to come back as frequently. It’s a system for getting you healthy instead of seeing you when you’re sick.”

The clinics spent about six months to a year preparing, training and adding staff before the 180-day window when the care model was carefully documented for committee review.

“It’s based on tracking preventive health issues and the delivery of that type of health,” said Col. Frank Hauger, a doctor within Darnall’s Department of Family and Community Medicine. Tracking includes how well teams manage chronic illnesses, continuity within the system and improving communication with secure messaging systems between patients and caregivers.

“As we moved to patient-centered model, we brought on staff to increase the ratio of support staff to provider,” Hauger said. Now for every provider, there are about three staff members.

Last year, Darnall’s three community-based medical homes in Killeen, Copperas Cove and Harker Heights, received similar recognition.

“The community-based homes are the most mature in the model because they’ve had almost a full year now working in the certification,” Amundson said. “It’s clear patients are happy with the change in the model. The clinics that just received recognition are in the maturity period and we will continue to see them excel.”

Darnall has four remaining clinics that haven’t converted to patient-centered care but are currently working within the committee’s 180-day licensing window, she said.

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