SVMC Northshire Campus Recognized for Patient-Centered Care

BENNINGTON — Southwestern Vermont Medical Center’s (SVMC) Northshire Campus has achieved the nation’s highest recognition for providing a new model of more personal, effective, and efficient primary care. The medical practice has earned recognition as a Level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA.

This certification is a significant achievement that recognizes the outstanding level of care we consistently strive to provide,” stated Dr. Natacha Jager, medical director of the SVMC Northshire Campus. “It underscores our commitment to putting patients at the center of all we do and also provides direct financial support to make positive changes, such as the recent addition of a part-time nurse case manager, a mental health care worker and a dietician."

The primary care medical home program identifies practices that promote partnerships between individual patients and their personal clinicians. A team of doctors, nurses, and other allied health providers oversees each patient’s care. The team ensures that care for all the patient’s health needs is coordinated across the health care system.

To receive recognition, a practice must demonstrate the ability to meet six key standards of the Patient Centered Medical Home model, which was developed by the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Osteopathic Association. The areas include: access to care, using tools to identify patients and their information; planning and managing patient care; providing self-care tools; tracking and coordinating care; and a system for measuring and improving performance. Each standard has several subsections. The NCQA assesses how well each medical practice has implemented the standards and designates practices as Level 1, 2, or 3. Level 3 designation is awarded to the highest scoring and most comprehensive medical homes.

The NCQA designated SVMC’s Northshire Campus as a Level 3 medical home. That means the Northshire Campus excels in implementing the Medical Home model. For example, the practice uses electronic tools to track patients and organize clinical information, manage care, write prescriptions, and track referrals and test results. It also focuses on preventive care and using evidence-based guidelines for treating chronic conditions.

NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practice in key area of performance. NCQA is committed to providing health care quality information for consumers, purchasers, health care providers, and researchers.

Implementing the medical home model in Southwestern Vermont is supported by United Health Alliance through a grant from the Vermont Blueprint for health. United Health Alliance is a partnership between physicians and Southwestern Vermont Medical Center dedicated to improving medical care in the greater Bennington area.

The SVMC Northshire Campus is a department of Southwestern Vermont Medical Center the flagship of Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC), a non-profit, integrated health system serving communities in Vermont, New York, and Massachusetts. SVHC also includes the VNA and Hospice of SVHC, the Centers for Living & Rehabilitation, the SVMC Northshire and Deerfield Valley Campuses, and Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center. Southwestern Vermont Medical Center is Vermont’s first Magnet hospital for nursing excellence and home to the region's only breast care program fully accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. Physician services at the SVMC Northshire Campus are provided by Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

DARTMOUTH-HITCHCOCK is a national leader in patient-centered health care and building a sustainable health system. Founded in 1893, the system includes New Hampshire’s only Level 1 trauma center and its only air ambulance service, as well as the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, one of only 40 National Center Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the nation, and the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, the state’s only Children’s Hospital Association-approved, comprehensive, full-service children's hospital. As an academic medical center, Dartmouth-Hitchcock provides access to nearly 1,000 primary care doctors and specialists in almost every area of medicine, as well as world-class research at the Audrey and Theodor Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.