Children's Mercy West on Patient Focus

Clinic achieves Patient-Centered Medical Home designation for second time.

Children’s Mercy West, the Cordell Meeks Jr. Clinic in Kansas City, Kansas is celebrating its re-certification as a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). The clinic earned the Level 3 certification for the first time in 2012. Children’s Mercy West is a participant in the REACH Foundation Medical Home Initiative.

Focus on Asthma
Amy Belton, RN, MSN, MBA, CPN, the Nursing Program Coordinator for the Medical Home project, said the clinic has made particular strides in helping young patients with asthma manage their condition. Clinic staff recognized that they were not meeting their Asthma Control Test (ACT) goals for every child with asthma, so staff modified its processes to collect the information before the patient visit.

Re-Thinking the Approach
In order to complete the ACT and make the data available before the child entered the patient care room, the clinic began using digital tablets loaded with a child-friendly ACT form that asked questions such as how often a child had missed school in the past four weeks, or about shortness of breath. The responses are loaded into the electronic medical record, which enables the respiratory therapist and medical provider to prepare for the exam and prioritize their work around patients with the highest needs.

Expanding on the Idea
After seeing positive improvement, the clinic loaded the form on computers in every exam room. Now, staff receives a report each day based on the previous day’s assessments, which helps them keep up with where they are in achieving their focus on active asthma management “every visit, every time.” Belton says the daily report and ability to electronically collect the ACT scores means the clinic “can provide additional education and treatment for patients who are at high risk for the flu, or who aren’t managing their disease well.” She says these efforts can reduce acute conditions and trips to the emergency department.

The Cordell Meeks Jr. Clinic’s focus on asthma management has spread throughout the system, according to Belton. The daily report is now run at every clinic in the Children’s Mercy health system. Staff can check their progress and see how their efforts stack up in comparison with the other clinics.

Continuing the Transformation
When asked how it feels to earn the NCQA recertification for a second time, Belton says: “I feel like we and our patients and families can see the transformation in how we deliver care.”
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