PCMH Recognition: Maintaining Momentum

Keeping the flame burning throughout the PCMH Recognition process can be a daunting task. This post shares some favorite tips from my work with practices on their Patient-Centered Medical Home journey.

Keeping the flame burning for Patient-Centered Medical Home transformation.

The following is a comment on one of my recent posts:

Comments received on Patient-Centered Medical Home - how do you keep the momentum going?

 I work with a number of practices on the process of getting NCQA recognition and here’s what I recommend to help them stay motivated:

1) Track progress. Create a master document to help you track where you are on documentation (do you have PCMH1A done? How about PCMH 3B?). Tracking and sharing progress with your team can help them feel like they’re getting somewhere and not just treading water

2) Celebrate victories. Once you finish the documentation for a particularly troublesome element, take the time to celebrate it. Recognize it in a staff meeting. “Hey! We just finished our month of referral logs and produced our report (PCMH 5B)!” Or “We just finished developing lists and sending out reminders for patient appointments (PCMH 2D). Bring in donuts (or healthier bagels and fruit) for the team. This can go a long way to helping people stay motivated.*

3) Find the Low-Hanging Fruit. Don’t feel like you have to tackle only the tough elements first. Sure it will be great when you get the critically important conditions selected, but it can be a complicated process. Try your hand at something a little easier, like assessing your patient demographic data for PCMH 2A.

3) Teamwork is the Key. Having just one person responsible for all the PCMH work is too much. It’s good to have a team of people they can bounce ideas with. For example, PCMH 1B requires that the practice produce a report showing that after-hours calls are being returned within the practice’s stated guidelines. This can be a tricky element for most practices to produce documentation. Your PCMH lead person will benefit from bouncing ideas off both the front and back office staff. Can you get a report from the after hours call system? Can you ask providers on-call to keep a log of times when phone calls are returned? How can you make sure any clinical information is documented in the patient’s medical records?

4) Take Time for Sharing. Get your practice staff (and patients) motivated about the PCMH experience by having information around the office. Have brochures in the waiting room and exam rooms. Have your staff wear buttons saying something about PCMH. Add a page to your website about PCMH. Encourage discussion about PCMH at your staff meetings. This will help foster an environment of learning about PCMH efforts. Your staff are busy so they need to know something’s important before they get behind it. By the way, those PCMH brochure and that page on your website will make great documentation for PCMH 1E!

5) Lead with Leaders. Be sure to have your leadership on board with the PCMH efforts. It doesn’t mean they have to be 100% behind the effort. A little healthy skepticism is, well, healthy! Have them read about the benefits of PCMH. One resource is the Patient-Centered Primary Care Consortium which shares results of various PCMH pilots from around the country. Share with them about the Hidden Benefits of PCMH recognition. Find out what their questions are and see if you can find answers. There may be others in the practice with the same question as well.

* All PCMH elements referenced in this post are from the 2011 NCQA standards


Let me know if these tips helped or not or if you have some of your own to share.



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