Providence Medical Group (PMG) sped up their planned move toward becoming Dayton’s first large-scale patient-centered medical home (PCMH), due in part to a request by a large local employer, GE Aviation. GE Aviation recently brought a number of jobs to the Dayton area and will soon require employees’ primary care provider to be a certified PCMH. Now that PMG has nearly completed new PCMH accreditation and electronic medical records (EMR) implementation, those employee patients will see increased conveniences and care quality. For example, patients no longer need referrals for a number of services, including cardiovascular diagnostic imaging tests, because Diagnostic Partners provides those services on-site.
Jennifer Carroll, Providence’s PCMH project manager, commented, “Our patients are often relieved to hear they can receive many of their tests and services here, under our roof, rather than travel to other locations. They can have their primary care physician oversee their complete medical picture. It often saves patients on co-pays as well. What’s more, our doctors prefer as little interruption as possible when it comes to patient care, and providing diagnostic services in-house contributes to streamlining this care. If a specialist is still needed after tests performed here, now we can provide additional information to those specialists.”
The internal commitment and process changes involved in obtaining PCMH accreditation and implementing an electronic medical records system can be massive, but PMG long felt it necessary to move in that direction to lower costs and meet community needs. The affiliation with GE Aviation sped up their timelines.
Susan Becker, PMG’s chief operating officer, said, “The new PCMH and EMR platforms change the dynamics for both patients and doctors, and it can be a bit of an education process for both. However, the sooner our 55 in-house providers go paperless, the more money we will save. We see a $60,000 savings a year for charts alone. People will not be laid off, but their jobs are changing. We are now able to target more of our providers’ time towards patient care, and we have built an extensive ‘Providence Patient Portal,’ for access to scheduling, medical information and questions for staff.”
“And working with outside providers like Diagnostic Partners for those services we don’t have in-house is an added convenience for our patients, and an additional revenue stream for us,” added Becker.