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Patient-Centered Care and Quality in Primary Care are Key Goals

SEATTLE, Wash.— (April 26, 2006) — Virginia Mason Medical Center’s Winslow Clinic is the only clinic in Washington state to participate in a national demonstration project, called the TransforMED Model of Care, aimed at changing the way health care is delivered to the patient.  The clinic is one of 36 clinics selected out of 538 applicants to trial this health care practice redesign initiative in primary care supported by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).  During the pilot, the clinic will test this model to improve patient care, patient satisfaction, physician satisfaction and practice performance.

"The basic concept for TransforMED is that the patients will understand they have a primary care home. They’ll know what they can expect from the various people on their care team, not just the doctor. We will become completely patient centered," says Kim Leatham, MD, Family Practice and Section Head, VM Winslow. "We will focus more on prevention and on ways our patients access health care other than a physician visit."

Funded by an initial $8 million from AAFP, TransforMED is based on the concept of a relationship-centered personal medical home. The model has a systems and a patient focus, and features eight core elements:

 • Patient-centered care • Focus on quality and safety
 • Team approach to care • Whole-person orientation
 • Sustainable reimbursement • Redesigned, more functional offices
 • Elimination of barriers to access; open access for patients
 • Advanced info systems, including electronic health records

To accomplish improvement in these eight areas, the clinic team will use practice innovations that include: open access scheduling, online appointments, electronic health records, group visits, electronic visits, chronic disease management, Web-based information, leveraging and engaging clinical staff, clinical practice guideline software, outcomes analysis and alternative reimbursement models.

"We have a lot of passion behind transforming the practice of outpatient medicine. We didn’t want to sit back and see what happens to health care reform, we wanted to be a part of it," continued Dr. Leatham.

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Alisha Mark
(206) 341-1509
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