Here's a scenario that may sound familiar: A patient with uncontrolled diabetes has missed his last three medical appointments and then shows up at his family physician's office with a festering foot ulcer.
Once again, a patient faces a hospital stay and possible amputation that could have been prevented.
It's time for physicians to try a new strategy, according to Amy Mullins, M.D., the AAFP's medical director for quality improvement.
Join Mullins for a free webinar(www3.gotomeeting.com) titled "Population Health Management: Be Proactive for Your Patients" that is scheduled for July 16 from 1-2 p.m. CDT.
"Population health management is the best way to anticipate your patients' health care needs so you can treat problems before they arise," Mullins said in an interview with AAFP News.
During the webinar, Mullins will
- define population health management in more detail,
- explain why understanding and embracing the population health management concept is important to busy family physicians, and
- show how family physicians can utilize everyone on the patient-care team to make population health management a priority in the practice.
She'll discuss, for example, how to query an electronic health record patient database to find patients with diabetes who have -- and those who have not -- completed their blood work.
"The physician or another member of the clinical team can quickly see who is out of range and who needs to come in. And if patients say they can't come in to the office, then it's up to someone in the office to find out why," said Mullins.
This family physician speaks from experience. Mullins came to her position at the AAFP in 2013 from a practice that twice earned patient-centered medical home (PCMH) Level 3 recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance -- once in 2010 and again in 2013.
"Practices who are able to achieve that level of PCMH competence almost certainly have also learned how to use population health management strategies to control costs and achieve improved quality outcomes," said Mullins.
Mullins also plans to showcase how a popular AAFP resource -- the PCMH Planner -- can help physicians transition their practices to the PCMH model of care.
The webinar will close with a question-and-answer session and, as always, will be archived for later viewing.
Related AAFP News Coverage
Experts Dive Into Realities of Patient-Centered Medical Home
FP Shares Pros, Cons of His PCMH Journey
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