A new study of trends around the Department of Veteran Affairs’ patient-centered medical home initiative shows what its authors say are encouraging signs.

Since 2010, shifts in care across the VA's 978 primary care sites were linked to a tenfold increase in telephone and online interactions between patients and providers, a rise in patient use of electronic personal health records from 3 percent to 13 percent, and an increase in nurse follow-up with patients within 48 hours post hospitalization from 7 percent to 61 percent, according to the University of Michigan Health System's news service.

Over the same period, the story reports the VA has seen increased rates of same-day patient access to primary care providers, continuity of care with assigned primary providers, use of nurse-facilitated home tele-monitoring of chronic conditions, and group patient visits, according to the study. The findings appear in American Journal of Managed Care.

“As the VA enacts further PCMH changes, we plan to examine impacts on patient health outcomes, patient satisfaction, and changes in utilization and efficiency," lead author Ann-Marie Rosland, M.D., told the health system service's reporter. "Hopefully this will provide valuable information to VHA facilities that are working to improve veteran care, as well as other health systems across the nation working to establish a PCMH.”

 

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