Primary care practices are at the heart of new, patient-centered care delivery models that promise to improve outcomes, while increasing the efficiency and sustainability of the healthcare system. Whether a practice wants to become part of an ACO, or simply improve care, it's clear that today's primary care physicians must deliver more team-oriented, prevention-focused care with tighter coordination across the continuum of care.
Electronic health records (EHRs) and other healthcare information tools are essential to accomplishing this shift. By successfully adopting and utilizing these tools, practices are better able to identify high-risk patients, provide them with more comprehensive care, assess outcomes, earn performance-based compensation, and share information securely both within and outside the practice.
New Pueblo Medicine (NPM), an independent practice of seven board-certified internal medicine physicians based in Tucson, Arizona, is a leader in this transformation. New Pueblo is thriving thanks to an ongoing commitment to improving care, responding to regulatory and compensation changes, and remaining viable as a small, independent practice.
New Pueblo has created new roles and responsibilities and engages patients in novel ways. The practice has deployed a range of healthcare IT solutions and joined in the formation of Arizona Connected Care, a physician-driven ACO. New Pueblo's journey suggests valuable lessons both for practice leaders, and for hospitals and health planners who want to work effectively with primary care practices in a fast-changing healthcare landscape.
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