Thunder Bay Community Health Service Inc. (TBCHS)—a Michigan Health Center serving patients in Montmorency, Presque Isle, Alpena, and Cheboygan Counties—recently received designation as a Primary Care Medical Home (PCMH) by the Joint Commission. TBCHS is the first Federally Qualified Health Center in Michigan to receive this prestigious award and among only 15 in the nation.
This rigorous survey, conducted by a team of Joint Commission representatives, reviews numerous aspects of healthcare delivery. “This honor confirms our commitment to high quality, patient-centered care that is comprehensive and accessible to all of the members of our community,” said Marion Hautea, MD, Chief Medical Officer, TBCHS. “This achievement demonstrates the dedication and hard work of all of our health care team.”
A Primary Care Medical Home is a model of care in which services are provided to patients by a primary care clinician and an interdisciplinary team. Patients benefit from this model because they have increased access to the services of the clinician and interdisciplinary team; the care provided by other clinicians and facilities is tracked and coordinated; and evidence-based treatment protocols guide their care. This care model also focuses more on education and self-management of the patient. Primary Care Medical Home accredited organizations strive to ensure their patients receive timely and appropriate treatment, increase patient satisfaction, improve patient outcomes, and reduce the overall costs to the health care system.
Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission is an organization that is dedicated to continuously improving the safety and quality of the nation’s health care through voluntary accreditation. The accreditation process for PCMH is consistent with the new federal health care reform efforts to improve health outcomes and the coordination, quality and efficiency of health care services and includes rigorous adherence to more than 150 standards as determined by an on-site review of the practices and procedures of the organization by a Joint Commission team experienced in the delivery of ambulatory health care services.
“The launch of this new optional program is truly historic for The Joint Commission. It further reinforces a method of evaluating patient-centered care, combined with the long recognized ambulatory accreditation process, to help move primary care delivery forward in this country. PCMH designation represents an additional achievement for accredited providers that deliver primary care in a comprehensive, coordinated and accessible model. We already have strong interest by currently accredited customers to use this option after July 1,” says Michael Kulczycki, Executive Director, Ambulatory Health Care Accreditation Program, The Joint Commission.
“We seek certification for our organization because we want to be the best. Obtaining accreditation is another step toward excellence,” said Michelle Styma, CEO, TBCHS. “Our staff is very supportive of the process. It gives them the feeling of pride to work in an organization that takes the extra steps for our patients to become accredited by the Joint Commission.”