Recertification of Harris Health System Sites
Sixteen facilities operated by Harris Country, Texas-based public healthcare provider Harris Health System, have been recertified as Patient-Centered Medical Homes by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).
The term, ‘medical home’ denotes a healthcare delivery site where patients have an on-going relationship with a personal physician, with Patient-Centered Medical Home status denoting the certification authority’s ‘gold’ standard for healthcare delivery. Under this model, care based on illnesses and patient complaints are replaced with coordinated care and a long-term healing relationship with that facility and physician. Physicians work with a coordinated team to provide a patient with his or her ongoing primary and specialty care.
“Through our patient-centered medical homes, Harris Health is putting into practice a primary care delivery model that provides access to high-quality healthcare services tailored to the individual patient’s needs to help them achieve their health goals,” says Esmaeil Porsa, MD, Harris Health CEO. “Being part of a medical home means that our patients and their families are actively involved in their care through partnerships with their providers and care teams underlined by trust and respect to their culture, values and preferences.”
The healthcare provider currently serves 115,000 patients at medical home sites including three designated homeless shelter clinics. It also runs a medical home-designated House Call Service that offers care to elderly and homebound patients.
Jennifer Small, AuD, MBA, executive vice president and administrator, Ambulatory Care Services at Harris Health, explains:
“The practice of patient-centered medical home is team-based and transdisciplinary. Our exceptional providers and care teams from areas such as nutrition, case management, patient education, pharmacy, laboratory, and specialties engage collectively to provide comprehensive integrated care to our patients.”
“Care coordination is also at the forefront of team-based care—providers and care teams are in tune with the environmental challenges our patient population face on their day-to-day, advocate and arrange connections to community resources to address socio-economic barriers.”
Harris Health’s medical home-model is helping patients better control diabetes, lower blood pressure risk and screen for diseases like breast and colorectal cancer.
In 2010, the healthcare became the first in the greater Houston area to achieve medical home designations for its facilities. Today, Harris Health’s Population Health team has expanded the medical home model by adding resources that tackle patients’ top health-related social needs such as food insecurity, lack of transportation, housing concerns and poor health literacy.
“We are practicing a holistic approach to meet the needs of our patients that not only identifies their medical needs but also identifies their socio-economic barriers to appropriate and timely care,” comments Erica Hattery, MD, MHA, the service provider’s director of Care Integration, Population Health. “This, in turn, improves health outcomes for prevalent conditions in our patient population such as diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia.”
Among patients with diabetes, Harris Health cares for 40,000 diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Of this number, 25 per cent suffer from uncontrolled diabetes. Health teams are actively working with these patients proving chronic disease management interventions to help patients control their illness.
“We know that by slowing the progression of diseases like diabetes and delaying or avoiding onset of complications, patients have a better chance for a productive and happy life,” adds Hattery.
The facilities recertified by NCQA as patient-centered medical homes are:
• Acres Home Health Center
• Aldine Health Center
• Baytown Health Center
• Casa de Amigos Health Center
• Cypress Health Center
• Danny Jackson Health Center
• El Franco Lee Health Center
• Gulfgate Health Center
• Martin Luther King Jr. Health Center
• Northwest Health Center
• Pasadena Pediatric & Adolescent Health Center
• Settegast Health Center
• Squatty Health Center
• Strawberry Health Center
• Thomas Street Health Center
• Vallbona Health Center