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Tri-City Lindon Clinic: Becoming a Patient-Centered Medical Home

Tri-City staff

Tri-City Lindon Clinic is one of six Utah clinics selected to participate in a HealthInsight Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) pilot. The pilot includes comprehensive training and assistance to re-design care and implement PCMH standards. The Tri-City staff has been busy improving some processes or adding new ones since March 2013, when the HealthInsight pilot began. PCMH transformation is not easy, as Christy Houghton, Medical Home Assistant, and member of the PCMH Leadership Team, recently noted. “We knew we wanted to become a PCMH, but needed help in the transition,” which Nursing Administrator Cindy Marlin echoed, “There is so much to it that we were overwhelmed trying to do it ourselves. We’ve been hearing and reading about PCMH for some time now, and decided we wanted to become one. We are so glad to be in the pilot.”

Cindy stated, “We’ve already made some really good changes. Working through the pilot has helped us to really see patients on a more individual basis—the whole patient.” Christy agreed, “We can easily look at health as a system, the big picture, rather than looking at care through our patients’ eyes. We feel we are really beginning to understand patients’ perspectives because of what we’ve learned so far.” Christy also commented that looking at their processes through the lens of quality improvement has improved their efficiency, “I, for one, am much more organized,” she smiled.

This efficiency and organization also serves to improve patient care, as demonstrated by the team’s recent work to streamline their referral system, components of PCMH including Care Management, Care Coordination, and Health Information Technology. Using a Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) model, the team tested a process to ensure they notify external providers to send patients’ test results back to them. The new process was adopted as regular practice due to the PDSA’s success. “We are looking for opportunities to make small improvements everywhere we can. If someone with diabetes comes in for a cold and we see they are due for an A1C test, we will ask patients if they’d like to take care of that while they’re here. That way we know they are getting their tests done and they don’t have to come back, saving them the time and effort,” Cindy commented.

Team members also remarked on how well their staff has responded to changes, “The PCMH model promotes everyone having a voice in what we do, which has improved camaraderie throughout the clinic,” according to Priscilla, who represents Reception. Wendy and Angie, representing Nursing and Billing and Referrals, concurred, “We’re working together as a team more.” Christy found this issue to be especially important, “Our PCMH transformation is really promoting ownership among all staff; it makes it so much easier to get things done. Staff have told me that it’s nice to be asked about their ideas and views, rather than just being told what to do.”

Team-based care and patient-centeredness, core PCMH components, indeed, are proving to be highly necessary and effective in improving patient care. Clinic staff is effecting changes comprehensively and methodically in each of the PCMH components, under the guidance of HealthInsight’s PCMH program staff. Congratulations to all staff at Tri-City; your hard work is paying off in many ways!