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Perham Health Clinic certified as medical home

The Minnesota Department of Health has certified Perham Health Clinic as a medical home, a program that closely connects doctors, nurses and other clinicians with individual patients to improve overall health.

Perham Health's Jill Doll, Registered Nurse and health coach, has enrolled 83 people since April 2012.

Eventually all patients will have the option to take part in the program, which at its core inspires patients to take a more active role, and engage with their Perham Health team to improve their overall health versus waiting for an appointment or only coming in when they feel sick.

Perham Health is embracing this philosophy as an evidence-based opportunity to improve patient outcomes and population health. Studies involving patients in medical home programs have 40 percent fewer emergency department visits and 25 percent hospital admissions.

Medical home offers a team approach to primary care, making it easier for patients to proactively communicate and partner with their care team, including physicians, clinicians, nurses, care coordinators and community resources. This approach to care is particularly helpful for people with complex and chronic conditions.

"We are proud to offer our patients a certified medical home when it comes to their care," said Perham Health Clinic Director Beth Ulschmid. "A medical home means patients are receiving comprehensive and coordinated care led by a team of health care professionals centered around their unique needs."

Certification by the state health department means the clinic has met a set of rigorous standards to provide patient and family-centered care and is working to improve the overall quality and affordability of health care.

The Minnesota Department of Health is nationally recognized for its certification process and Minnesota is one of eight medical home demonstration states in the nation. State legislation established the program in 2008, requiring all Minnesota-based insurance plans to offer the program.

In Perham Health's medical home, an RN health coach leads the team approach to develop a close relationship with patients and their families to better understand their medical needs, coordinate care and achieve better health. This includes streamlining access to appointments, improving communication with physicians, answering questions over the phone and planning care.

"Medical home makes it easier for patients to communicate and partner with their care team," added Ulschmid. "We want patients to feel empowered to take responsibility for their health in partnership with their care team. This approach is especially helpful for people with complex and chronic conditions who require a variety of specialists."

For additional information, contact Jill Doll at 347-1236.