Idaho Clinic Embraces QI

DP - Case Study

Idaho Clinic Embraces a Culture of Quality Improvement


Pocatello Family Medicine (PFM), which currently comprises 6 medical faculty, 21 residents, and 4 midlevel providers, is the clinic of the Idaho State University (ISU) Department of Family Medicine residency program. Located in the state with the lowest number of physicians per capita, PFM sees roughly 10,000 patients out of one full-service outpatient clinic in the southeast Idaho community of Pocatello. PFM’s patients are covered fairly evenly by Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance, with roughly 8% uninsured or covered by other insurance. The practice became part of Health West Community Health Center in October 2012. PFM implemented its electronic health record (EHR) system, GE Centricity, in January 2005 and is currently using Version 9.5, with Centricity Practice Solution 10 for practice management. All 6 faculty physicians achieved Meaningful Use in 2011 and all 21 residents and midlevel practitioners are currently meeting Meaningful Use criteria.

EHR Selection and Implementation

When the practice decided to transition to an EHR system, Dr. Jonathan Cree , the Residency Director, looked at five different EHR systems. One of the most important features for meeting the needs of a residency program clinic was allowing two signatures on each record so both the resident and …

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1. At the PFM clinic, there was no mention of an HIT/HIM employee being involved in the EHR and quality implementation process. What could an HIT professional have added to the implementation and quality initiatives?

2. In the case study, it was mentioned that PFM now has a culture of Quality Improvement. Can you identify any other areas for this clinic to conduct a QI study?

3. Dr. Jonathan Cree, Residency Director, looked at five different EHR systems, and chose GE Centricity. Conduct research and determine what might have been four of the other EHR vendors considered for this facility based on the description in the first paragraph.

4. What role do you think an HIT professional employed in this system could assume on an ongoing basis?

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