Patient-Centered Care Report Paper
Patient-Centered Care Report Paper
Population health improvement initiative (PHII) seeks to improve the health of individuals in the community through focused and innovative interventions that incorporate education, public health, clinical care, research, and dissemination. PHII seeks to improve health outcomes across populations by improving individuals’ health status and holistic well-being. The case study for this assignment portrays Mr. Nowak, a patient diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Ms. Balewa, the Director of Safe Headspace, presents information on a PHII used in their facility to provide treatment to geriatrics with TBI and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the PHII, recommend a strategy to improve outcomes, and describe an approach that can be used to personalize patient care.
Evaluation of the PHII Outcomes
The PHII by Safe Headspace comprised several interventions, including moderate aerobic exercises, pharmacological treatment, psychotherapy, and meditation. Of these interventions, aerobic exercises were the most promising, as evidenced by the marked improvement in the participants’ short–to–medium-term memory (61%), mood (22%), and muscle control (15%) within three months. Most of the participants did not receive any form of psychotherapy after being exposed to trauma. Thus, they were taken through psychological evaluation by psychotherapists, which led to 40% of the assessed patients being started on antidepressants and 9% on antipsychotic agents. The pharmacological treatment intervention was relatively effective since the patients on medications regularly contact their therapist for continuous management.
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Patients on pharmacological treatment had an improved mood (26%) and memory (6%) within six months, demonstrating that pharmacotherapy was moderately effective. Despite having a few interested patients, meditation had remarkable outcomes, including improved mood and memory (above 70%) and muscle control (32%). However, some interventions were ineffective, for example, memory exercises such as crossword puzzles and Sudoku. Furthermore, patients who chose strength training exercises only gained a lesser degree of muscle control than those in aerobics. Personal factors that may have contributed to the success of the PHII include the willingness of the patients to participate. Besides, they had motivation that drove them to achieve the desired outcomes from the PHII. The participants acknowledged that they had a problem that needed to be addressed to promote better health outcomes.
Strategy for Improving the Outcomes of a PHII Plan
The PHII can be improved by incorporating healthcare technologies into the plan. Safe Headspace could have adopted technologies that can be used, including Telemedicine, Automated care management, and patient dashboards. Telemedicine would have improved outcomes by enhancing real-time interactions between patients and health providers (Jimenez et al., 2021). It could have also been used to facilitate meditation, which would have promoted better outcomes in mood and memory in a large number of patients. Automated care management that includes automated outbound messages, like emails, voice mails, and texts generated based on clinical protocols would have also improved interactions between patients and providers (Jimenez et al., 2021). For example, emails and texts could have reminded the participants of their scheduled psychotherapy appointments and meditation sessions. Furthermore, patient dashboards can be used to help providers implement the PHII by providing an easily conveyed visualization of relevant data (Jimenez et al., 2021). Nevertheless, the health information strategy faces barriers such as information technology illiteracy among participants, particularly geriatrics.
An Approach to Personalizing Patient Care
The personalized patient care for Mr. Norman will be based on lessons learned from the PHII at Safe Headspace. His care plan will comprise aerobic physical exercises, psychotherapy, and meditation to improve muscle strength, balance, psychological distress, and lower blood pressure. The patient will be encouraged to engage in moderate-intensity aerobic exercises for at least 40 minutes daily like brisk walking, jogging, swimming, and cycling. The exercises aim to improve mood, balance, muscle control, and cardiovascular function (Zhang et al., 2021). In addition, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the recommended psychotherapy approach to help the patient manage mood swings (anger, depression, anxiety), alleviate PTSD symptoms and psychological distress, and enhance his coping mechanism. Furthermore, the patient will be taken through mindfulness meditation to improve his attention, cognitive ability, memory, and decision-making capacity.
Value and Relevance of Evidence
The proposed patient care plan is supported by relevant evidence that is valuable and pertinent to the patient case and is based on evidence-based literature. Pinto et al. (2021) assert that physical activity enhances the release of growth factors in the brain essential in creating new brain cells and increasing brain size. This results in reduced memory decline, improved decision-making capacity, increased processing speed, and enhanced learning and memory. Physical exercises also alleviate stress, increase bone density, and prevent falls. Little et al. (2021) found that CBT effectively relieves anxiety symptoms and emotional disturbances in patients with TBI. Betthauser et al. (2021) found that yoga-based meditation led to improvements in chronic pain, headaches, and mood in veterans with a history of TBI. The evidence is pertinent to the patient’s case since it validates that physical exercises, CBT, and meditation can improve the patient’s stability, balance, memory, and psychological stress.
Framework to Evaluate Desired Outcomes
The Person-Centered and Integrated Care (PC-IC) framework is the selected model for evaluating personalized patient care outcomes. According to Berntsen et al. (2018), PC-IC enhances outcomes and experience for patients with multiple long-term and complex disorders. It includes a 4-stage process: Individualized goal-setting, Care planning according to goals, Delivery of care according to plan, and Evaluation of goal achievement. PC-IC also helps to identify shortcomings in setting long-term goals, monitoring care provision, and evaluating goals (Berntsen et al., 2018). It can thus be applied to identify PHII goals, plan interventions to implement, execute the PHII interventions, and evaluate the attainment of desired outcomes.
The Safe Headspace PHII included aerobic exercises, pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy, and meditation interventions. The interventions significantly improved the participants’ muscle control, memory, and mood. The PHII can be enhanced by incorporating healthcare technologies such as Telemedicine, Automated care management, and patient dashboards. The personalized care approach for Mr. Norman will comprise moderate-intensity physical exercises, CBT, and meditation. Besides, the plan’s desired outcomes will be evaluated using Person-Centered and Integrated Care.
Berntsen, G., Høyem, A., Lettrem, I., Ruland, C., Rumpsfeld, M., & Gammon, D. (2018). A person-centered integrated care quality framework, based on a qualitative study of patients’ evaluation of care in light of chronic care ideals. BMC Health Services Research, 18(1), 1-15.
Betthauser, L. M., Forster, J. E., Bortz, A., Penzenik, M., Hernández, T. D., Bahraini, N., & Brenner, L. A. (2021). Strength and awareness in action: Feasibility of a yoga-based intervention for post-acute mild TBI headaches among veterans. Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications, 22, 100762. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.conctc.2021.100762
Jimenez, G., Matchar, D., Koh, C., van der Kleij, R., Chavannes, N. H., & Car, J. (2021). The role of health technologies in multicomponent primary care interventions: Systematic review. Journal of medical Internet research, 23(1), e20195. https://doi.org/10.2196/20195
Little, A., Byrne, C., & Coetzer, R. (2021). The effectiveness of cognitive behavior therapy for reducing anxiety symptoms following traumatic brain injury: A meta-analysis and systematic review. NeuroRehabilitation, 48(1), 67–82. https://doi.org/10.3233/NRE-201544
Pinto, S. M., Watson, E. M., Contreras, W. A., Luffman, K. A., & Newman, M. A. (2021). Physical activity after traumatic brain injury. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 102(8), 1673-1675. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2020.12.020
Zhang, Y., Huang, Z., Xia, H., Jin, X., Xu, M., & Liu, C. (2021). The benefits of exercise for outcome improvement following traumatic brain injury: Evidence, pitfalls, and future perspectives. Experimental Neurology, 113958.
Patient-Centered Care Report
Assignment: Patient-Centered Care Report
Evidence–Based Health Evaluation and Application
Patient-Centered Care Report:Write a report on the application of population health improvement initiative outcomes to patient-centered care, based on information presented in an interactive multimedia scenario.
In this assessment, you have an opportunity to apply the tenets of evidence-based practice in both patient-centered care and population health improvement contexts. You will be challenged to think critically, evaluate what the evidence suggests is an appropriate approach to personalizing patient care, and determine what aspects of the approach could be applied to similar situations and patients.
Patient-Centered Care Report
By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:
Competency 1: Apply evidence-based practice to plan patient-centered care. ◾Evaluate the outcomes of a population health improvement initiative.
◾Develop an approach to personalizing patient care that incorporates lessons learned from a population health improvement initiative.
Competency 2: Apply evidence-based practice to design interventions to improve population health. ◾Propose a strategy for improving the outcomes of a population health improvement initiative, or for ensuring that all outcomes are being addressed, based on the best available evidence.
Competency 3: Evaluate outcomes of evidence-based interventions. ◾Propose a framework for evaluating the outcomes of an approach to personalizing patient care and determining what aspects of the approach could be applied to similar situations and patients. Assignment: Patient-Centered Care Report
Competency 4: Evaluate the value and relative weight of available evidence upon which to make a clinical decision. ◾Justify the value and relevance of evidence used to support an approach to personalizing patient care.
Competency 5: Synthesize evidence-based practice and academic research to communicate effective solutions. ◾Write clearly and logically, with correct grammar and mechanics.
◾Integrate relevant and credible sources of evidence to support assertions, correctly formatting citations and references using APA style.
In this assessment, you will base your Patient-Centered Care Report on the scenario presented in the Evidence-Based Health Evaluation and Application media piece. Some of the writing you completed and exported from the media piece should serve as pre-writing for this assessment and inform the final draft of your report. Even though the media piece presented only one type of care setting, you can extrapolate individualized care decisions, based on population health improvement initiative outcomes, to other settings.
Note: The requirements outlined below correspond to the grading criteria in the scoring guide, so be sure to address each point. In addition, you may want to review the performance level descriptions for each criterion to see how your work will be assessed. Assignment: Patient-Centered Care Report
Writing, Supporting Evidence, and APA Style
◾Write clearly and logically, using correct grammar and mechanics.
◾Integrate relevant evidence from 3–5 current scholarly or professional sources to support your evaluation, recommendations, and plans. •Apply correct APA formatting to all in-text citations and references.
•Attach a reference list to your report.
Address the following points in a 4–6 page report:
◾Evaluate the expected outcomes of the population health improvement initiative that were, and were not, achieved. •Describe the outcomes that were achieved, their positive effects on the community’s health, and any variance across demographic groups.
•Describe the outcomes that were not achieved, the extent to which they fell short of expectations, and any variance across demographic groups.
•Identify the factors (for example: institutional, community, environmental, resources, communication) that may have contributed to any achievement shortfalls.
◾Propose a strategy for improving the outcomes of the population health improvement initiative, or ensuring that all outcomes are being addressed, based on the best available evidence. •Describe the corrective measures you would take to address the factors that may have contributed to achievement shortfalls.
•Cite the evidence (from similar projects, research, or professional organization resources) that supports the corrective measures you are proposing.
•Explain how the evidence illustrates the likelihood of improved outcomes if your proposed strategy is enacted
◾Develop an approach to personalizing patient care that incorporates lessons learned from the population health improvement initiative outcomes. •Explain how the outcomes and lessons learned informed the decisions you made in your approach for personalizing care for the patient with a health condition related to the population health concern addressed in the improvement initiative.
•Ensure that your approach to personalizing care for the individual patient addresses the patient’s: •Individual health needs.
•Economic and environmental realities.
•Culture and family.
•Incorporate the best available evidence (from both the population health improvement initiative and other relevant sources) to inform your approach and actions you intend to take.
◾Justify the value and relevance of evidence you used to support your approach to personalizing care for your patient. •Explain why your evidence is valuable and relevant to your patient’s case.
•Explain why each piece of evidence is appropriate for both the health issue you are trying to correct and for the unique situation of your patient and their family.
◾Propose a framework for evaluating the outcomes of your approach to personalizing patient care. •Ensure that your framework includes measurable criteria that are relevant to your desired outcomes.
•Explain why the criteria are appropriate and useful measures of success.
•Identify the specific aspects of your approach that are most likely to be transferable to other individual cases.
Evidence–Based Health Evaluation and Application
Public health improvement initiatives (PHII) provide invaluable data for patient–centered care, but their research is often conducted in a context different from the needs of any individual patient. Providers must make a conscious effort to apply their findings to specific patients’ care.
In this activity, you will learn about a PHII, and explore its application to a particular patient’s care plan.
You continue in your role as a nurse at the Uptown Wellness Clinic. You receive an email from the charge nurse, Janie Poole. Click the button to read it.
From: Janie Poole4/21/2019
At last week’s conference I spoke with Alicia Balewa, Director of Safe Headspace. They’re a relatively new nonprofit working on improving outcomes for TBI patients, and I immediately thought of Mr. Nowak. At his last biannual cholesterol screening he mentioned having trouble with his balance. This may be related to his hypertension, but he believes it’s related to the time he was hospitalized many years ago after falling out of a tree, and expressed distress that this might be the beginning of a rapid decline.
Ms. Balewa will be on premises next week, and I’d like to set aside some time for you to talk. Assignment: Patient-Centered Care Report
Interview Alicia Balewa to find out more about a public health improvement initiative that might apply to Mr. Nowak’s care.
Director of Safe Headspace
I have a patient who might benefit from some of the interventions for TBI and PTSD you recently studied. What populations did your public health improvement initiative study?
My father came home from Vietnam with a kaleidoscope of mental health problems. That was the 1970s, when treatment options for things like PTSD, TBI, and even depression were very different. Since then there has been a lot of investment in treatment and recovery for combat veterans. That’s excellent news for veterans in treatment now, but they’re not looking at my dad, and how his TBI and PTSD have affected him through mid–life and now as a senior. That’s why I started Safe Headspace: to focus on older patients who are years or decades past their trauma, and find ways to help them.
Which treatments showed the strongest improvement?
Exercise. We were able to persuade about half of our participants — that’s around 400 people, mostly men ages 45–80 — to follow the CDC’s recommendations for moderate aerobic exercise. Almost everyone showed improvement in mood, memory, and muscle control after four weeks. After that a lot of participants dropped out, which is disappointing. But of the 75 who stuck with it for another three months, muscle control improved 15%, mood improved 22%, and short–to–medium term memory improved 61%. We didn’t specify what kind of exercise, but we did ask them to record what they did every week, so that data is available. Assignment: Patient-Centered Care Report
Second was medication and therapy. Most of our participants didn’t receive any kind of psychotherapy in the years immediately following their trauma, so we had everyone assessed by a team of psychotherapists. As a result of those assessments, 40% of participants started on anti–depressant medication and 9% started taking anti–psychotics. Those who started taking medications now have regular contact with a therapist to manage that care. With some help at home to stick to the regimen, all but a few have successfully followed their treatment plans. They’ve reported a 26% improvement in mood over six months, and a 6% improvement in memory.
The third treatment I want to mention is meditation. We only had a small group interested in trying it, but the results were dramatic. We prescribed daily meditation at home, just 10 to 15 minutes, with a weekly hour–long guided group meditation for all 23 participants. After three weeks we lost two to disinterest, but the other 21 showed improvements of over 70% in mood and memory, and 32% in muscle control.
Have you tried anything that hasn’t worked?
Sure. There are memory exercises for patients in elderly care, and things like Sudoku and crossword puzzles. We didn’t see any gains with those. Some of our participants preferred strength training to aerobic exercise, and the only improvement we saw in that group was in muscle control, but only 4%, which is significantly less than the aerobic group.
I should also say that we were working with a willing group of participants. They knew they needed help, and were motivated to get it. One of the hurdles we see with veterans, especially in older generations, is an unwillingness to acknowledge that they have a problem. We haven’t had to wrestle with that because everyone who volunteers to participate wants to be there.
Your organization is intervening with people who have TBI and PTSD simultaneously. We have a patient with moderate TBI suffered almost 40 years ago, but no history of PTSD. Have you separated your population and studied each separately? Assignment: Patient-Centered Care Report
What were the outcomes of the PHII? .
How could they have been improved? .
How do the results of the PHII relate to Mr. Nowak’s case?
As you’ve seen, a PHII can apply to a patient under your care. But it’s not always a perfect fit, and it’s important to think carefully about how your patient’s condition, symptoms, background, and experience compare to that of participants in a PHII.
You may find it helpful to download the responses you made in this activity. Assignment: Patient-Centered Care Report.
[Title Here, up to 12 Words, on One to Two Lines]
Evidence-Based Practice for Patient-Centered Care and Population Health
Patient-Centered Care Report
[Title Here, up to 12 Words, on One to Two Lines]
Health care organizations in the United States are realizing the importance of health improvement initiatives aimed at large population groups. Population health improvement initiatives (PHIIs) were introduced to reduce health care costs in general and improve the health of people in different population groups such as pregnant women or the elderly. Additionally, PHIIs provide vital data on patient-centered care and per capita cost in the form of measurable clinical, humanistic, procedural, economic, and utilization outcomes (Huber, 2017). Health care professionals consider a PHII’s outcomes as evidence for care plans that meet the individual needs of patients treated by a health organization.
Often, the evidence that a health care professional encounters is not presented in the exact context of that professional’s practice because of differences in the patient population, illnesses, or care environment. In such situations, health care professionals analyze a PHII’s evidence and select only those variables that apply to the context of the specific patient care plan. The process of transferring evidence into practice from one context to another is discussed using the example of Uptown Wellness Clinic’s (UWC) patient Mr. Nowak, who suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) after a fall. At his cholesterol screening, Mr. Nowak complained that he has been losing his balance lately. According to him, the balance problems are symptomatic of the brain injury. A charge nurse at UWC recommended that Mr. Nowak’s patient care plan be based on evidence gathered from Safe Headspace, a nonprofit PHII that works to improve outcomes for people with TBI and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD; Capella University, n.d.). Once the PHII’s outcomes are evaluated, the evidence will be transferred into Mr. Nowak’s treatment context.
The objective of the evaluation is to reveal knowledge gaps in the PHII, devise strategies to bridge the gaps, and incorporate the new strategies into Mr. Nowak’s patient care plan. The evidence will help create a new assessment framework for the patient care plan as well.
Evaluation of a Population Health Improvement Initiative’s Outcomes
Since its formation, Safe Headspace PHII significantly improved health outcomes in older patients suffering from PTSD because of head trauma. The PHII uses various interventions to treat mental health problems, such as exercise, therapy, and meditation. Regular exercise was the initiative’s most successful intervention. Of the 400 participants in the intervention, mostly men in the 45–80 age bracket, 75 participants followed aerobic exercise routines for four months. 15% of the men showed improved muscle control, 22% showed improved mood, and 61% showed improved short- to medium-term memory (Capella University, n.d.).
Those who volunteered for medication and therapy were assessed by a team of psychotherapists and provided therapy support—40% of the participants started on antidepressants and 9% started taking antipsychotics. Within six months, 26% of the participants showed improvement in their mood and 6% showed improvement in memory. The third intervention, meditation, had only 23 participants but showed positive outcomes. In three weeks, 21 participants—two dropped out—showed over 70% improvement in mood and memory and 32% improvement in muscle control. Strength training and puzzle solving to improve memory were unsuccessful interventions because the interventions did not give any significant gains (Capella University, n.d.).
However, these statistics do not give a complete picture. To begin with, the PHII intervened with people who were diagnosed with both PTSD and TBI. The impact of interventions on patients with either PTSD or TBI was not studied separately. Therefore, the outcomes of cases like Mr. Nowak’s, who has TBI and no history of PTSD, are unknown and need further evaluation. Moreover, Safe Headspace’s outcomes do not explain why patients were demotivated from following self-management plans and whether the lack of motivation relates to factors such as high medical costs or unsatisfactory care. Evaluating these unexplored outcomes expands the evidence base and helps health care professionals in deciding interventions that will be appropriate for a patient’s symptoms, background, and experiences.
Strategies to Improve Outcomes of a Population Health Improvement Plan
The launch of the Triple Aim by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in 2007 was a landmark development toward quality improvement in health care in the United States. The Triple Aim is a broad framework of linked goals designed to optimize health system performance: (a) improving the patient’s experience of care, (b) improving the health of populations, and (c) reducing per capita cost of health care (American Hospital Association, 2015). The framework has influenced national initiatives such as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Assignment: Patient-Centered Care Report
The Triple Aim goals have five preconditions for high-quality care: (a) focus on individuals and families, (b) redesign of primary care services and structures, (c) population health management, (d) cost control platform, and (e) system integration and execution (Institute for Healthcare Improvement, n.d). The evaluation of Safe Headspace’s data reveals the poorly integrated Triple Aim goals. As UWC’s patient care plan is based on evidence collected from Safe Headspace’s PHII outcomes, the new care setting may inherit the poor outcomes. Incorporating the Triple Aim prevents the transfer of faulty evidence into UWC’s patient care plan by setting achievable goals and improving the quality of care delivery at the clinic.
By bridging the gaps in Safe Headspace’s programs, the PHII’s methods can be applied to UWC’s care plan for patients like Mr. Nowak. Bellin Health, an integrated health delivery system in Wisconsin, illustrates the effectiveness of the Triple Aim. Using the framework, Bellin improved the health of its enrolled employee and Medicare populations. The three Triple Aim goals reflected in the way Bellin’s health care professionals imparted cost-effective, patient satisfactory, and holistic care for large-scale health programs and individual cases (Whittington, Nolan, Lewis, & Torres, 2015).
Despite its successes, the Triple Aim is facing many challenges. According to the American Healthcare Organization (2016), diverse health markets and a lack of shared vision make moving all health care systems to one approach challenging and impractical. A second challenge is the Triple Aim’s phantom limb, which refers to the well-being of health care professionals. According to a study, the three goals ignore the needs of caregivers, creating a stressful workplace that carries a high-risk of staff burnout (Spinelli, 2013). Therefore, quality improvement should include steps to improve the workplace for health care professionals.
It is important to consider the benefits and limitations of any quality improvement effort. Health care professionals at UWC should identify the advantages and disadvantages of using the Triple Aim for Mr. Nowak’s care plan. Likewise, the plan should incorporate lessons learned from the PHII outcomes and introduce changes to address inadequacies. Assignment: Patient-Centered Care Report
Approaches to an Individualized Personal Care Plan
UWC has two objectives behind developing an evidence-based patient care plan from Safe Headspace’s outcomes. The short-term objective is to diagnose and treat Mr. Nowak’s health problems. The long-term objective is to use Mr. Nowak’s care plan as the foundation for similar cases in the future. To achieve these objectives, UWC must change its organization and delivery systems. The need to change UWC’s health system is based on certain assumptions developed from the PHII evaluation: (a) the new delivery design should achieve the Triple Aim goals, (b) primary care providers should be competent in evidence-based practice (EBP), and (c) patients should receive self-management support and cost-effective care.
A current and innovative approach that satisfies the first assumption is the patient-centered medical home (PCMH). The PCMH can implement the Triple Aim goals by adopting new technologies and care delivery methods and establishing caring relationships with patients and families. The PCMH improves the delivery of primary care by making primary care comprehensive, patient-centered, coordinated, accessible, and committed to quality and patient safety (Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative, n.d.). These functions help understand the health, economic, and cultural needs of specific patients.
The process of implementing the PCMH includes training and evaluating health care professionals, especially primary care providers. Training and evaluation are important to integrating EBP into care delivery to improve outcomes. Among the methods that facilitate EBP, self-management is very successful. One self-management practice is mobile health (mHealth), which is the use of mobile technologies to “inform, assess, anticipate, and aid in interventions while monitoring and coordinating patient health status and care” (Lahue, Hughes, Hills, Li, & Hiatt, 2015, para. 1). Mobile health is cost-effective because it reduces the number of clinical visits and circumvents the limited availability of care providers and resources (Nundy, 2012).
Once applied to UWC’s patient care plan, the PCMH, EBP, and mHealth can guide Mr. Nowak’s care in the hospital and in his home. The three approaches can improve Mr. Nowak’s awareness of his condition, motivate him to start self-management methods, and make health care more accessible to him. In addition, the approaches will help UWC achieve its second objective regarding the patient care plan. The value and relevance of the approaches can be justified by evaluating current research on their application.
Value and Relevance of Evidence Used in Patient Care Plan
Many studies advocate incorporating the PCMH, EBP, and self-management practices in population health improvement efforts. Evidence-based practice is a fundamental guideline (Huber, 2017) for all levels, initiatives, and sectors in health care, not just population health improvement. Therefore, justifying the value of EBP is unnecessary. The PCMH and mHealth, however, are relatively new approaches and require evaluations of their evidence-base.
The PCMH was very successful at improving the relationship between primary care teams, patients, and families. One three-year study described the successful integration of the PCHM in the Pennsylvania Chronic Care Initiative. Adjusted costs observed in the PCMH pilot year were 17.5% lower than data from non-PCMH practices. As a result, rates of hospitalization, emergency department visits, and ambulatory visits reduced (Nielsen, Buelt, Patel, & Nichols, 2016). Similar results were seen in the Texas Children’s Health Plan and Hudson Valley initiative.
The second approach, mHealth, has great potential in areas with high clinical and cost burdens, such as urban areas. One such setting was the University of Chicago Medicine (UCM), an academic medical center serving predominantly urban, working-class African American communities. The mHealth initiative included texting services for self-management support, sending e-mail and text alerts about appointments, follow-up contact through phone calls, e-mails, and texts. These steps greatly enhanced care management processes and motivated patients to practice self-management methods regularly (Nundy et al., 2012).
However, these approaches have limitations. To begin with, the PCMH is mostly used in chronic disease management (Nielsen, Buelt, Patel, & Nichols, 2016) and there is a dearth of information on its use in managing mental health problems. In the context of mHealth, Nundy et al. (2012) observed that patients using the platform needed a human face to be involved in the program. Hence, the UCM assigned staff members to monitor mHealth participants. Furthermore, there are uncertainties about the implementation of mHealth because of the complex and highly regulated nature of technology and health markets.
The studies conducted on the PCMH and mHealth enhance UWC’s efforts in population health improvement. The evidence gathered from these studies will help the clinic take steps to improve the quality of these approaches. One of the ways to do that is to choose a sustainable evaluative framework to ensure that all patient care plan parameters are met.
Framework for Evaluation of Patient Care Plan Outcomes
A critical component of evidence-based practice is evaluation, without which improvements are difficult to achieve. Measurable data identify both effective and ineffective components of a health care initiative. Additionally, PHII evaluations help secure government funding, a necessity for organizations with enrolled Medicaid and Medicare populations.
The evaluative framework has certain prerequisites: Progress is tracked using the Triple Aim, and the framework is evaluated against the entire health system. The latter prerequisite is essential because allocating funds and resources for population health improvement needs the whole organization to make adjustments in primary, secondary, tertiary, and ancillary care systems. One Triple-Aim-aligned framework that UWC can implement is New Zealand’s County Manukau Health’s (CMH) System Level Measures (SLMs), which were adapted from the IHI’s Whole System Measures (Doolan-Noble, Lyndon, Hau, Hill, Gray, & Gauld, 2015).
The SLMs complement each other and represent measures across the continuum of care. Therefore, UWC can monitor how a change in one SLM increases or decreases other measures. The SLMs adapted by CMH are as follows: a) provide for patients with health care needs, (b) improving the process of providing services—access and end-of-life, (c) ensuring effectiveness, (d) reporting clinical outcomes, (e) reporting functional and efficiency outcomes, and (f) ensuring patient satisfaction. The measures are further comprised of process and outcome indicators. For example, some clinical outcome indicators are hospital standardized mortality ratios and adverse event rates (Doolan-Noble et al., 2015). As these indicators are specific to the population context, UWC needs to add or remove indicators accordingly.
While implemented successfully at the CMH, the SLMs have certain limitations. To begin with, a whole system evaluation presents a methodological challenge because of population variations and lack of standardization in coding and definitions of indicators. Furthermore, the SLM can present operational challenges at UWC—the clinic may not have the technical capability to capture, analyze, and publish SLM-related data. The solution is to create a team of data analysts for data collection and analyze data over a long period of time (Doolan-Noble et al., 2015).
The limitations, by themselves, are not challenging as there are specific strategies available that can address these problems. Nor do they dilute the importance of the measures. An evaluation is the only way UWC can gather robust information about the quality and safety of its initiative and realize the Triple Aim.
The implementation process of a population health improvement plan is complex and comprises many steps and strategies. In fact, errors can still arise despite using evidence-based methods and frameworks. In spite of the difficulties associated with implementing a PHII, it helps health care professionals create a comprehensive care plan for patients, such as Mr. Nowak, who exhibit physiological and mental health problems. The approaches help health care professionals adapt to changing care settings in the long term. Understanding the continuum of care from creation to evaluation is the first step to innovating existing health structures and achieving the Triple Aim.
American Hospital Association. (2015, April). Zeroing in on the Triple Aim (Issue brief). Retrieved from American Hospital Association website: http://aha.org/content/15/brief-3aim.pdf
American Hospital Association, Committee on Research and Committee on Performance Improvement. (2016, January). Care and payment models to achieve the Triple Aim. Chicago, IL: American Hospital Association. Retrieved from http://aha.org/content/16/care-payment-models-achieve-triple-aim-report-2016.pdf
Capella University. (n.d.). Evidence-based health evaluation and application [Transcript]. Retrieved from http://media.capella.edu/CourseMedia/MSN6011/evidenceBasedHealthEvaluation/media.asp?
Doolan-Noble, F., Lyndon, M., Hau, S., Hill, A., Gray, J., & Gauld, R. (2015). How well does your healthcare system perform? Tracking progress toward the Triple Aim using system level measures. The New Zealand Medical Journal, 128(1415), 44–50. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.library.capella.edu/docview/1686373805/fulltextPDF/2505807F00D0482BPQ/1?accountid=27965
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Institute for Healthcare Improvement. (n.d.). The IHI Triple Aim. Retrieved from http://ihi.org/Engage/Initiatives/TripleAim/Pages/default.aspx
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