This blog is the fourth in a five-part series that will help you review your current CPC+ implementation. Now that we’re 2 to 3 years into the program, you can review what has and hasn’t been working for your practice with the help of these guides.
For practices considering Primary Care First, this series can also be used for preparations as you gear up for a 2021 or 2022 implementation. CPC+ was one of the models examined and was a foundation for creation of the PCF.
Missed the first couple of blogs in our CPC+ series? Review how well you’ve been meeting access and continuity (function 1) here, care management (function 2) here and comprehensiveness and coordination (function 3) here.
Patient and family advisory councils
Understanding who your patients are and what they want from your practice is important for maintaining growth. You could be the absolute best provider in the world, but if your patients don’t understand the value you provide them they may decide to switch to another office. Taking a patient-centered approach is just good business. One of the best ways you can make sure you are truly listening to your patients (and their caregivers) in a systematic way is with a patient and family advisory council (PFAC).
There are two major benefits of a PFAC:
- Your practice can improve from insight garnered from this group
- Your patients feel heard, which improves patient satisfaction
Just having a PFAC doesn’t achieve these two goals. Now is a good time to review how yours has been working in the last couple of years to make sure it’s successful. The first thing you need to examine is what changes have you made to your practice resulting from the PFAC? You may have gotten some great insight from this group, but you need to make sure it’s implemented. Taking the time to list out everything they have recommended and which of those recommendations are now in effect can be helpful.
This leads us to the second purpose of a PFAC, letting your patients feel heard. If you’ve made some substantial changes thanks to your PFAC, have you let your patients know about them? Broadcasting it on your social channels or if you have an email newsletter will let you patients know that they exist and that you take their suggestions seriously.
Some major health centers promote their PFACs online and list out all the changes they have helped make. (John Hopkins Hospital does a good job highlighting recent PFAC accomplishments.) This is a great way to let others know that they take the patient’s experience seriously. Something you should consider…
What’s different if you are Track 2?
If you’re track 2 you should also focus on advance care planning. Who should go through advance care planning? Everyone. For each of us, the next day’s outcome is never guaranteed, so it’s important that you help your patients prepare for the worst (while hoping for the best). You may not be in a place where you have the time or resources to go through advance care planning with everyone, so to make it manageable; you can break your patient population into segments and start with the ones that show the most need.
Additionally, it may be time to review patients’ advance care plan if it was created more than 10 years ago (or perhaps your practice has sufficient resources to review it every five years, another variable you should consider). The point is, situations change. So you should continuously update the advance care plan to adjust for this. Ask yourself how often you think a patient should revisit the plan and then ensure you do that.
Recap: Questions to ask yourself
- How often does your PFAC meet?
- What changes have resulted from your PFAC meetings?
- Are there other good ideas from the PFAC that haven’t been implemented yet?
- How do you let your patients know about the PFAC?
In addition, for Track 2 practices:
- How many of your patients have an advance care plan?
- Which of your patients are most in need of an advance care plan who still don’t have one?
- How often do you want your patients to update their plans?
Next blog: Planned care and population health
Now that you’re sourcing and implementing ideas from a PFAC and, if track 2, creating advance care plans for your patients, the next step is planned care and population health. In the next, and final blog of this five-part CPC+ series, we’ll examine using data to improve your patient health and empower them to money.