Union Health Centre Case Study
Conduct a Union Health Centre Case Study
Union Health Centre Case Study
Union Health Center (UHC) introduced the patient-centred care model a few years ago. It enabled the organization to focus more on factors that are critical to change management and quality improvement. It also instituted the Ambulatory Intensive Caring Unit (AICU) model which encouraged patients to get education and acquire self-management strategies for their chronic diseases. The patients are paired with Patient Care Assistants and Health Coaches to help guide them through the process. The approach has enabled the health facility to assist many patients to manage their chronic illnesses by educating them and providing them with the necessary strategies to maintain their health.
IT Tools and Staff Resources
UHC uses patient registries to identify the patients with chronic conditions. This resource is very important because the healthcare professionals are made aware of the patient’s conditions, therefore they get to determine the right care, the right place to offer it, and even the right time for intervention. These registries can also be used to identify a target group of patients whose conditions seem to be out of control (Shaljian & Nielsen, 2013). Such patients are approached and the need for more provider engagement is communicated. Hence, the patients will know that their condition is uncontrolled, which is why they need to constantly come for check-up. Aside from that, the patients are also educated on measures they can take to help improve the situation. The registries are also important because it enables the healthcare providers to stratify patients based on their risk factors. Hence, the patients with more severe conditions can be easily identified.
A weakness of this resource is that it requires constant data entry to ensure that the information is up to date. Also, the various categories within the registry are many. It makes it quite tedious to identify the point at which certain pieces of information are present. Lastly, one needs special skill in order to operate the registry and obtain information.
It is also evident that UHC makes use of technological solutions such as the Electronic Health Records. Various templates are availed to the PCAs so that they can know how to categorize a patient for further review. The approach was considered since the facility needed to free up more time for the clinicians so that they will be able to handle the more complex tasks and patients effectively (“Digital Bridge,” 2020). Using electronic charts helps the facility to ensure that everything is running smoothly. The PCAs will conduct an assessment on the patients before filling in the templates accordingly. Depending on the choices made, the electronic chart will offer standard instructions on how the PCAs should proceed (Shaljian & Nielsen, 2013). The severity of the symptoms will determine whether or not the patient will see a physician. Therefore, the EHRs are beneficial since they offer guidance to the PCAs on how to handle various patient situations. Rather than having to consult physically with the health providers every time a patient comes in, the PCAs will simply rely on the templates for instruction.
This resource has weaknesses in the sense that it is not very reliable. Not all patients will feature similar symptoms, or be in need of specific forms of intervention. However, EHR templates have been prepared to always suggest the same set of activities. In addition, the PCAs may not be well conversant with how the charts work, leading to wrong information being suggested to the patients.
Curbside Consultations and e-consultants
The facility promotes collaborations with social workers, pharmacists, psychologists and other on-site specialists. To ensure that no time is wasted, e-consultations are offered to enable the different specialists to discuss recommendations without having to leave their offices (Flieger, 2017). This is an important resource since it has enhance the care coordination and also whole-patient care. A patient will not be limited to only one professional. The input of others will also be considered since it is easier to e-consultant with many professionals at the same time (Shaljian & Nielsen, 2013). To ensure that the e-consultations work effectively, a special coordination team has also been put in place to complement this resource.
There are some weaknesses in the sense that the e-consultations may be limited. One professional may already be handling a patient when an e-consult is requested. Hence, it will mean interfering with the session of that patient. Also, the patient may not be able to get the help needed even after the consult if at all the session is rushed.
The analysis of tools and resources above show that UHC has taken a sufficient number of steps to promote patient-centred care. However, the weaknesses of these resources are significantly contributing to the challenges faced by the facility such as delayed data entry. However, with proper planning and troubleshooting, areas of improvement can be determined. For instance, the e-consultations can be designed in such a way that a professional can check “unavailable” when he or she is with a patient. It will prevent any interruptions from other professionals who may be seeking recommendations.
Digital Bridge: Using Technology to Support Patient-centered Care Transitions From Hospital to Home. (2020). Case Medical Research. doi: 10.31525/ct1-nct04287192
Flieger, S. (2017). Implementing the patient-centered medical home in complex adaptive systems. Health Care Management Review, 42(2), 112-121. doi: 10.1097/hmr.0000000000000100
Shaljian, M., & Nielsen, M. (2013). Managing populations, maximizing technology: Population health management in the medical neighbourhood. Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative. Retrieved from https://pcpcc.org/resource/managing-populations-maximizing-technology.