By Lt. Dwight Hampton, Medical Home Port Program Management Office
The Medical Home Port (MHP) Program Management Office has visited 17 out of Navy Medicine’s 28 medical treatment facilities (MTF) and many of their branch medical clinics providing training and assistance with their implementation of the Medical Home Port. Our current schedule will allow us to visit 22 out of the 28 MTF’s by the end of this calendar year and visit the remainder of the MTF’s early next calendar year.
One of the seven Joint Principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home, established by the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Physicians, and American Osteopathic Association, states that the care team takes “responsibility for the ongoing care of patients.” The Medical Home Port Team can consist of physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, hospital corpsmen, medical assistants, clerks, other support and most important, the patient. Case managers, pharmacists and behavioral health personnel are but a few of the specialists that can be embedded into the Medical Home to support the team with overall holistic care of the patient.
Team-based practice is one of the sessions that I facilitate when the MHP Program Management Office conduct site visits across Navy Medicine. In this session participants discuss strategies for success including basic team designs, team huddles, team role clarity, transformation of team member’s roles in the MHP and the tools available to help improve communication among the team and with patients.
Team-based practice is vital to the success of MHP. MTF’s that have effectively implemented team based practice have seen an increase in customer service, productivity and the quality of care provided. There is also higher levels of staff morale at MTF’s with strong teams because team members feel valued and are able to participate in decision making and work at the top of their license/skill set as they take on new responsibilities within the team.
Team based practice is one way to ensure we keep our hospital corpsman highly engaged and ready for future deployments. We allow our HM’s to be the “Doc” in theater and practice at the top of their skill set but then upon return to our MTF’s we often place them at the front desk in our clinics to work as clerks or utilize them as vital sign technicians. Corpsmen who have returned from deployment have often commented that it’s very de-motivating to be allowed to practice at the top of their skill set in theater only to return home and be relegated to tasks not commensurate with their abilities in our ambulatory care clinics. MHP provides the opportunity for us to train our corpsmen while they work in our ambulatory care clinics, to operate at the top of their skill set in preparation for deployment. Team-based practice provides no better opportunity to afford our corpsmen the requisite skills necessary to support the mission when deployed.
Team-based practice is an excellent strategy to foster high quality, efficient health care delivery utilizing the talents of all team members in furthering the health of our patients. If you want more information regarding MHP, check out the Navy Medicine MHP SharePoint site.