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Nemours duPont Pediatrics, Seaford Earns Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home Status

Monday, Oct 20, 2014

Nemours Pediatrics, Seaford
Nemours duPont Pediatrics, Seaford Staff

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) announced that Nemours duPont Pediatrics, Seaford has received NCQA Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) recognition for using processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long‐term, participative relationships.  Nemours in Seaford is the first pediatric practice in Delaware to achieve this distinction.

The NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home is a model of primary care that combines teamwork and information technology to improve care, improve patients’ experience of care and reduce costs. Medical homes foster ongoing partnerships between patients and their personal clinicians, instead of approaching care as the sum of episodic office visits. Each patient’s care is overseen by clinician-led care teams that coordinate treatment across the health care system. Research shows that medical homes can lead to higher quality and lower costs, and can improve experiences of care for both patients and providers. “We decided to pursue NCQA certification a few years ago after a primary care retreat,” said Kevin Sheahan, MD, Chief, Nemours duPont Pediatrics. “Our belief is that the Family-Centered Medical Home and NCQA certification will strengthen our ability to not only provide more comprehensive, coordinated care that meets the needs of our families, but will also position us in a big-picture way as we move away from episodic ‘sick’ care and towards holistic and preventive care.”

To earn recognition, which is valid for three years, Nemours duPont Pediatrics-Seaford demonstrated the ability to meet the NCQA program’s key elements, embodying characteristics of the medical home.  Under the leadership of Nemours Seaford Physician-in-Charge Thiele Anthony, MD, Office Manager Susan Wagenhoffer, and Care Coordinator Allison Tatman, RN, the practice underwent major quality improvement work along the way, including: creating medical home teams, using daily huddles to raise important issues, developing new clinical work flows, connecting patients with community resources, establishing a Family Advisory Council, and measuring patient outcomes.

Nemours Seaford’s two-year progression towards Level 3 designation, the highest level achievable under NCQA, targeted patients with asthma, ADHD and special/multiple needs. The introduction of seemingly simple techniques, such as more frequent follow-up appointments and screening questions (e.g. Are you having problems getting medication? Do you have any transportation issues? How are the child’s grades in school?) helped to uncover and correct important factors that were affecting optimal care, compliance and health status. Goals and results were documented along the way, opening the window to better care and greater satisfaction for all patients in the practice. Feedback from families demonstrates a high degree of approval with the new processes.

“NCQA recognition shows that Nemours Pediatrics in Seaford has the tools, systems and resources to provide its patients with the right care, at the right time,” said NCQA president Margaret E. O’Kane. Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children CEO Roy Proujansky, MD, added: “Throughout the Nemours Children’s Health System, we are working comprehensively with patients and families to ensure their medical and non-medical needs are met.  Nemours has embraced family-centered care, it defines who we are. So we are particularly proud that the Seaford practice exemplifies this core value and in doing so has garnered recognition.”

Jamie Powers, Performance Improvement Coordinator with Nemours Health and Prevention Services, provided leadership and guidance for the Seaford team in preparing the NCQA application. “Seaford readily volunteered to be the first Nemours pediatric practice to apply for designation. The team jumped in with both feet and made some significant changes to enhance care and the patient experience,” said Powers.  Tatman, Seaford’s Care Coordinator added, “The entire Seaford practice made this a reality, embracing new work flows and process changes. Everyone saw the big picture. This recognition was earned by all and is very meaningful for the whole team.” Dr. Anthony, Physician-in-Charge at Seaford, stated, “I am honored to work with a remarkable staff and to be a part of Seaford earning this prestigious recognition.”

About Nemours

Nemours is an internationally recognized children's health system that owns and operates the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., and Nemours Children's Hospital in Orlando, along with major pediatric specialty clinics in Delaware, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Established as The Nemours Foundation through the legacy and philanthropy of Alfred I. duPont, Nemours offers pediatric clinical care, research, education, advocacy and prevention programs to all families in the communities it serves.