Providence VA Medical Center, Rhode Island
Just recently, one of the Primary Care teams at the Providence VA Medical Center was recognized as among the top 10% of the more than 5000 Primary Care teams nationally. The criteria for this recognition include performance on Patient Aligned Care Team (or PACT) measures involving quality, continuity and timeliness of care, as well as performance on the PACT recognition survey this past summer. The team recognized--known simply as Team 1--is led by Dr. Jeffrey Austerlitz and includes Dr. Lorna Russell and Dr. John Bass, along with Registered Nurse Barbara Soncrant, Licensed Practical Nurse Nicholas Souza, and Patient Care Assistants Tina Camara and Jeffrey Figueira.
The PACT model is the VA's version of the Medical Home Model, which has been in the news recently as the future of health care. Unlike contemporary models of care, PACT focuses on the whole person, on health optimization as opposed to disease management, on life plannning, and on a parternship-based (as opposed to a phsyican-directed) approach to health care. PACT puts the patient at the center of the health care system, providing him or her with the right care at the right time.
Despite this timely and well-deserved recognition, the Providence VAMC's Primary Care Service is not about to rest on its laurels. In the spirit of continuous improvement, the next step is to transform into an open access model by increasing the availability of same-day appointments and increasing the capacity for telephone visits; implementing team-based process improvement initiatives to improve performance measures, and increasing emphasis on PACT education for both providers and Veterans, their families, and their caregivers.
Congratulations to the members of Team 1!