Medical Home Port: A Shared Vision for Primary Health Care

Capt. Maureen Padden, Director of the Medical Home Port Program Management Office

By U.S. Navy Capt. Maureen Padden, Director of the Medical Home Port Program Management Office

The Medical Home Port concept emphasizes team-based, comprehensive care that is designed to fully meet the complete primary care, health and wellness needs of patients. It is a model in which patients are assigned a team of health care professionals who support a comprehensive health care plan.

I am happy to report that the roll out of Medical Home Port (MHP), Navy Medicine’s version of the patient-centered medical home model, is going well throughout the Navy Medicine enterprise. To date, the Project Management Office has visited Navy Medicine East, Navy Medicine West, 10 of Navy Medicine’s 28 military treatment facilities (MTFs) and many of their associated branch medical clinics to assist in their implementation of MHP.  We plan to visit the remainder of the MTFs by the end of the calendar year.  Our goal is to standardize, or franchise, the basic look and feel of MHP throughout our MTFs, while encouraging the creativity and innovation necessary to seek new features that could be adopted as we go forward.  We want our patients and staff to have a shared vision and expectation about how primary care looks and feels across Navy Medicine. This is especially important given that military personnel and their families typically pick up and move every few years.

In this initial phase of MHP roll out, we are emphasizing the following key first steps:

(1)    Educate the team and our patients on MHP and how to use it.

(2)    Establish sound enrollment models that align provider availability with patient demand.

(3)    Manage templates to sustain an advanced/open access environment for enrollees.

(4)    Define team roles to optimize team-based practice.  Leverage all members of the team at the top of their skill set.  Use Tri-service Work Flow (TSWF) AHLTA templates to create standardized medical records that improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the team.

(5)    Measure and monitor to see if you have set up a successful system!

As Edward Deming has said, “Every system is perfectly designed to get the results it produces.” If your metrics aren’t where you want them to be, consider drilling down on the above key steps to see what adjustments must be made. 

MHP is a strategy to provide high-quality care while controlling costs.  All members of the team must have a shared vision of what the patient-centered medical home means to them and to their patients.  There must be a shared sense of urgency regarding the need to change how we do business if Navy Medicine is to continue to thrive as we know it today.  The U.S. Navy surgeon general called MHP a game changer, and as such it is one of our top strategic priorities.  The inflation of cost of care in the military health care system is not sustainable.  Building a health care model that is sustainable is critical to the success of MHP and I look forward to continued progress in rolling out MHP across the Navy Medicine enterprise.

If you want more information regarding MHP, please visit http://www.med.navy.mil/bumed/Pages/MedicalHomePort.aspx.