SwedishAmerican’s commitment to quality is long standing. During the organization’s early years, board members and physicians met regularly to review patient care delivery and recommend improvements in hospital service. Building on this solid foundation, the organization adopted formal quality programs during the 1980s and, in 1993, was selected from a pool of nearly 400 applicants to win the RIT/USA Today Quality Cup. Subsequent accolades included the Lincoln Award for Business Excellence and designation as a Top 100 U.S. Hospital and Health System.

This proud heritage is very much alive today. A prime example of SwedishAmerican’s commitment to continuous improvement occurred in 2012 when all of SwedishAmerican Medical Group’s clinics received prestigious Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). PCMH is an innovative program for improving primary care. In a set of standards that describe clear and specific criteria, the program gives practices information about organizing care around patients, working in teams and coordinating and tracking care over time.

PCMH is an emerging model of care that strengthens the relationship between the patient, family and primary care provider in cooperation with specialists and support from community resources.  The patient/family is the focal point of this model, and the medical home is built around this center. The medical home also is a base from which care services are coordinated to provide the most effective and efficient care to the patient. This includes the use of health technology, the coordination of specialty care and inpatient care, providing preventive services through health promotion, disease management and prevention, health maintenance, behavioral health services, patient education and diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illness.

By achieving Level 3 status, SwedishAmerican Medical Group’s nine primary care clinics and their respective providers are among an elite group. There are approximately 15,000 primary care doctors in Illinois. NCQA has recognized 415 physicians and locations for any of their certifications. Of these, only 256 are Level 3 PCMH, and 23 of them are SwedishAmerican Medical Group physicians.

“This is a prime example of how we are coordinating care, reaching out to patients and trying to get ahead of the curve in healthcare,” says SwedishAmerican Medical Group President Dr. Thomas Schiller. Moving forward, the group will continue to grow its PCMH program by integrating best practices in care and workflow, technology and population health management.