Trends in quality during medical home transformation
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PURPOSE We describe changes over time in performance on measures of technical quality and patient experience as a group of primary care clinics transformed themselves into level III patient-centered medical homes. METHODS A group of 21 Minnesota primary care clinics achieving level III recognition as medical homes by the National Committee for Quality Assurance has been tracking a variety of quality and patient satisfaction measures for years. We analyzed trends in these measures and compared them with those of other medical groups in the community to estimate what we might expect as other primary care sites gear up to achieve medical home status. RESULTS The clinics in this group achieved a 1% to 3% increase per year in patient satisfaction and a 2% to 7% increase per year in performance on quality measures for diabetes, coronary artery disease, preventive services, and generic medication use. When compared with the average for other medical groups in the region, the rates of increase were greater for satisfaction, but similar for the quality measures. CONCLUSIONS Achieving medical home recognition was associated with improvements in quality and patient satisfaction for these clinics, but the rate of improvement is slow and does not always exceed levels in the surrounding community in Minnesota (which are also improving). Expectations for large and rapid change are probably unrealistic.
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