UA Health Sciences to Host Patient-Centered Medical Home Conference
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama’s College of Community Health Sciences will host a conference this month that focuses on the Patient-Centered Medical Home and ways physicians and other health-care providers can incorporate this model of care into their medical practices.
The conference, “Building the Patient-Centered Medical Home: Inspiration and Tools to Help Transform Your Practice,” will be held July 25-26 at Hotel Capstone on UA’s campus.
According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Patient-Centered Medical Home, or PCMH, is a model of primary care delivery that is patient-centered, comprehensive, coordinated, accessible, and that focuses on quality and safety.
Among the conference keynote speakers is Dr. Paul Grundy, director of Global Healthcare Transformation for IBM and founding president of the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative. In his role at IBM, Grundy, who is known as the “Godfather” of the PCMH, develops strategies to shift health-care delivery toward consumer-focused, primary-care based systems through the adoption of new philosophies, primary-care pilot programs, new incentive systems and the information technology required to implement such changes.
The Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative he helped found works to advance an effective and efficient health-care system built on a foundation of primary care and the PCMH.
“As a College, we are interested in not only transforming our own practice into this PCMH approach but also helping to move the bar and further the transformation of medical care in our area,” said Dr. Richard Streiffer, dean of the College of Community Health Sciences. “That is part of our mission, and that is really the motivation for the conference. It is a tool for us internally as well as at the community level to increase awareness, create dialogue and learn from experts with experience in this transformative process.”
In addition to Grundy, other keynote speakers at the conference will include: Beverley Johnson, president and CEO of the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care in Bethesda, Maryland.; Dr. Melly Goodell, chair of the department of family medicine at MedStar Franklin Square in Baltimore, Maryland, a state that is three years into a PCMH pilot project; and Dr. Michael Canfield, associate chief of staff of Ambulatory Care for the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System.
The name PCMH can be confusing because in this case a medical home is not a place but rather a philosophy of providing care. All the attention to patients is not an extravagance. Heading off problems in the doctor’s office often keeps patients out of the emergency room or from being readmitted to the hospital, both costly forms of health care. The PCMH has also been shown to help patients manage chronic health conditions, which account for an estimated 75 percent of all U.S. health care spending.
The College of Community Health Sciences is home to one of the nation’s largest Family Medicine residencies and provides third- and fourth-year clinical training for a cohort of students enrolled at The University of Alabama School of Medicine. The College also operates University Medical Center, a multi-specialty community practice that forms the base for a clinical teaching program and provides patient-centered and interdisciplinary care for West Alabama.
The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.