How to help your staff transition to being a patient-centered medical home

Many practices are currently undergoing the transition to becoming a patient-centered medical home (PCMH). This model puts the patient at the center of the healthcare experience in order to provide higher quality care and build stronger relationships.

A focus on care coordination and a team approach are crucial aspects of this model, so if you’re looking to make the move to a PCMH, you’ll want to gain buy-in from your office staff and those who contribute to direct patient care.

A recent study from Annals of Family Medicine identified 13 strategies to encourage staff engagement during the transition. These strategies fell into three main areas: effective communication and internal campaigning for change; resource utilization and management; and the creation of a team environment.

The transition of your own practice will be a unique process that depends on your leadership abilities, your team, and how your practice currently functions. Because the necessary changes to become a PCMH are often challenging and complex, your vision as a leader will influence your practice’s level of success. Therefore, encouraging progress and maintaining a supportive culture are important steps for ensuring a smooth transition.

Here are a few tips to help you and your team find success in becoming a PCMH.

Communication

Whether you’re personally heading up the transition like Marc Berger or you’ve formed a leadership team to guide the process, clear and ongoing communication from leadership is key for getting your staff on board. Highlight the benefits of becoming a PCMH — for your patients, team, and practice — and explain why you’re making the transition. Understanding the reasons behind the move to this new model will help your staff feel empowered and motivated, even when things get rocky.

Resources

Making sure your team has what they need will not only contribute to a smoother transition, but it’s also a great way to show The site also allows comparisons to be made between online schools . your support. Your employees may feel uncertain or unsure during this time, so be ready to provide resources that will build their confidence, such as education, technical direction, and training. A strong foundation of technology and operational systems, as well as the appropriate funding and staffing, will also contribute positively to staff buy-in. Putting these resources in place will demonstrate that you’re committed to the transition and its success.

Team environment

The model of PCMH emphasizes a team approach. In order to provide your patients with quality care and greater access, your team will likely have to adjust their workflow. They may also have to take on increased responsibilities with more time spent in direct patient care or care coordination. If your office decides to offer extended hours for your patients, then staff members will have to adjust their work schedules as well. By clearly mapping out new responsibilities, as well as encouraging cross-training and a high level of communication, you can help your team discover how to best work together in this new model.

And if you need additional help during the process, reach out to other practices that have undergone the transition or tap into online resources. For example, this short video filmed at a five-physician practice in Hunt Valley, Maryland, features one office’s experience with the transition and gives a sense of the various changes that occurred — especially pertaining to the roles and responsibilities of the staff. It may be helpful to share the video with your team as another way of explaining what a PCMH is and what it will mean for your practice. After all, making sure everyone is on board with the change is essential to completing a successful transition.

 

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