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Safety Net Medical Home Initiative Publishes PCMH Implementation Guide Series, 2nd Edition

July 10, 2013

Proven model now available for practice transformation based on 65 practices' experience.

Qualis Health and its partners have released an updated, comprehensive library of resources proven to effectively guide the transformation of primary care practices into patient-centered medical homes. Based on landmark efforts undertaken by 65 safety net practices across the country, the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative (SNMHI) implementation tools are now available to lead other practices through similar transformation efforts.

"These guides, developed by and for primary care practices aiming to increase satisfaction, boost operational efficiency and improve quality of care, are invaluable resources. Today, we are making them available for all," said Jonathan Sugarman, MD, MPH, Qualis Health President and CEO, Principal Investigator of the SNMHI. "We know that the Initiative's transformation model is an effective framework, one that is proven to help practices implement the key design features of a PCMH and produce results for patients, families and care teams."

Starting in 2008, The Commonwealth Fund, Qualis Health and the MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation at the Group Health Research Institute launched a five-year initiative to help primary care safety net sites become high-performing medical homes and achieve benchmark levels of quality, efficiency and patient experience. The SNMHI has been widely recognized as a landmark demonstration of the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Model of Care.

A key goal of the SNMHI was to create a replicable model for practice transformation. Over the course of the Initiative, the SNMHI developed, tested and refined an evidence-based framework for PCMH transformation—The Change Concepts for Practice Transformation (1)—which has since been adopted by other improvement initiatives nationwide. The resulting comprehensive library of resources and tools support the SNMHI Change Concept framework and help practices understand and implement the PCMH Model of Care.

The library has now been updated and expanded to reflect the experience and learning of sites that participated in the Initiative. After extensive testing, the model and its resources have now been used effectively by primary care practices of all types including community health centers, private practices, academic medical centers, critical access hospitals, and VA and Indian Health Service sites. All resources are free and in the public domain, and can be accessed at www.safetynetmedicalhome.org.

SNMHI practices made significant achievements which are leading to improved health outcomes, patient experience, and provider and staff satisfaction. While technical assistance for the participating sites concluded in April of 2013, The Commonwealth Fund is now supporting a rigorous evaluation of the Initiative. The University of Chicago, the evaluation lead, expects to publish the results of their findings in 2014 and 2015.

To learn more about the outcomes and achievements of the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative, view the SNMHI Project Summary: July 2013.

(1) Wagner EH, Coleman K, Reid RJ, Phillips K, Abrams MK, Sugarman JR. The Changes Involved in Patient-Centered Medical Home Transformation. Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice. 2012; 39:241-259.

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