Quality Healthcare – Union Health Center

 

Quality Improvement at Union Health Center:
A Team-Based Approach

Union Health Center uses a team-based model of care to provide high quality health care. The primary care teams use data from the electronic medical record to improve the quality of care.

Reviewing this data provides the teams with important information about the health of their patients. They can then work together to create interventions to help maintain patient health or successfully overcome poor health conditions.
These projects are just a few of the areas we have been working on:

 

Colorectal Cancer Screening

Why is Colon Cancer Screening so important?

Colorectal cancer almost always develops from abnormal growths (called precancerous polyps) in the colon or rectum. Screening tests can find these abnormal growths, so that they can be removed before they turn into cancer.

These preventative tests can also find colorectal cancer early, when treatment works best .
To increase the rate of testing for colorectal cancer, the UHC primary care teams sent educational information on options to those patients due for screening.

This helped UHC achieve a 2017 screening rate 13% higher than the National Data for Insured Patients[1]

 

Breast Cancer Screening

 

Why is Breast Cancer Screening so important?

Breast cancer screening means checking a woman’s breasts for cancer before there are signs or symptoms of disease.

Breast cancer screening can help find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat[1].

Each October, UHC supports National Breast Cancer Awareness month by posting information within the health center and sending personal outreach letters to women identified as in need of a screening mammogram.

Efforts continue throughout the year through calls and reminder letters to women that are in need of more frequent follow up.

 

These efforts helped push the 2017 UHC Screening Rate 4.3% higher than the National Data for Insured Patients.

 

Patient Satisfaction

At Union Health Center we need the voice of the patient to continue to improve our efforts in providing quality care. To get this valuable information, we send satisfaction surveys to UHC patients after they have had a primary care visit.
Patients are asked to rate us on questions using the following scale:

✔ Yes/Definitely
✔ Somewhat/No

Doing all we can to provide excellent care is our goal, so we always look for the responses of Yes/Definitely.
For us to meet this goal, we hold ourselves accountable for all survey results, regardless of the response. We perform ongoing review of survey data and then use this information as a basis for our improvement plans.
Here are some of our 2017 results from UHC patients:

 

Recognized for Excellence in Health Care

#UHC has been recognized by the NCQA as a Patient Centered Medical Home. UHC has also achieved NCQA recognition in 2 clinical programs, the Diabetes Recognition Program and the Heart/Stroke Recognition Program. These programs acknowledge clinicians for their delivery of quality ambulatory care to patients who have diabetes, cardiovascular disease or who have had a stroke.

 

#Out of hundreds of primary care practices nominated nationwide, UHC has been named an “exemplar practice” by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded LEAP (Learning from Effective Ambulatory Care Practices) Project.

 

Union Health Center has also received several grants from the New York State Health Foundation, United Hospital Fund, The September 11th Fund and the NYS Attorney General’s office to improve elderly diabetic care, implement comprehensive education curriculum for medical assistants, enroll union members and their families in state funded health programs and improve nutrition education for low wage immigrant workers.

The Hitachi Foundation funded the Center for the Health Professions at the University of California, San Franciso to research several health care clinics and practices in the US that significantly developed the role of medical assistants. Medical Assistants are the majority of non-licensed personnel working in outpatient practices and one of the fastest growing occupations in health care. Union Health Center, identified as one of these health centers, developed a new model that includes a training curriculum and a career ladder for medical assistants. Union Health Center’s model has not only expanded job responsibilities and improved wages and benefits for medical assistants, but has also contributed to improved patient outcomes and an enhanced patient experience.

 

About the Comparative Data Used:

National Data for Insured Patients (HEDIS Measures):

The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS) worked with the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) to create the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS).  This data set is used by consumers to compare information on health plan performance.  HEDIS Measures relate to many important public health issues[1].

[1] CMS.gov Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services. “Health Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS)”. https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Health-Plans/SpecialNeedsPlans/SNP-HEDIS.html

 

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