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April 26, 2013

Bassett's 'medical home' system scores high marks

(Continued)

“To fund that extra work to prevent higher costs later is the idea. I think that’s why it’s getting the national attention.”

Key to the process centralized collection of digital medical records – at least from Bassett providers. Rule says he still has to request paper records from some providers outside the Bassett network.

This collection allows doctors to check the results of their patients’ consultations with specialists and their records from hospital admissions.

It’s also the backbone of MyChart, a Web interface that allows patients to review prescribed medications, including dosage and frequency information; request prescription renewals; request and cancel appointments; review future and past appointments; review their immunization histories and allergies; and receive test results with comments from their primary care providers.

Eventually, the digitized records will create a database from which the medical professionals can assess the effectiveness of the nationally recognized treatment standards the centers have adopted as part of the shift to PCMH care.

“We’re trying to latch onto national standards — what we call evidence-based medicine — so it’s not just ‘This is how I always did it, as I was taught in medical school,’ because things change,” Rule said. “So we have to stay up on the latest science and the most-current recommendations and all try and agree to accept those, and then follow it to see how we do.”

Transparency for patients already is part of the process, but Bassett plans to take it further.

“Making public our results is going to be part of the process going forward,” Rule said, adding that he expects that to happen “within the next year.”

“That’s a bit of a culture change,” he said.

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