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Photo Caption:  After nearly a year of hard work, the Katterbach Army Health Clinic at Katterbach Kaserne has been recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, or NCQA, as an Army Patient Centered Medical Home.

January 16, 2014
Europe Regional Medical Command Public Affairs

ANSBACH, Germany (Jan. 15, 2014) -- After nearly a year of hard work, the Katterbach Army Health Clinic has been recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, or NCQA, as an Army Patient Centered Medical Home.

PCMH is a team approach to healthcare. In a PCMH, patients are partnered with a team of health care professionals which includes their primary care provider, registered nurse, licensed practice nurse and medic. Over time the patient and their health care team work together to treat illness and injuries, promote healthy living and manage ongoing health care issues.

"This accreditation is an endorsement of the hard work and dedication our staff provide each day to ensure the improvement of our System for Health," said Lt. Col. (Dr.) Rodney Gonzalez, commander of the KAHC. "For the beneficiaries, this means that even while stationed abroad they have access to the highest quality of medical care."

The NCQA is a non-profit organization that measures the ability of medical facilities to provide quality healthcare through standardized, objective measurement guidelines. NCQA requires recognized facilities to enhance access to care and patients' continuity with their provider teams, keep track of patient data to help manage patients' well-being, plan and manage care using evidence-based practices, provide self-care support and community resources, as well as track and coordinate tests, referrals and other care for patients. Finally, clinics have to show that they measure their performance and patients' feedback to continue improving the quality of care.

"There was a significant amount of work required by all members of the team over a period of a year," said Gonzalez. "These members compiled thousands of pieces of information and condensed it into a presentation of our clinical processes. Each of the 7 members of the NCQA team dedicated countless hours while still upholding the quality of care required by this level of accreditation."

Here is what patients can expect from the Katterbach Army Health Clinic:

• A personal provider. Each patient has an ongoing relationship with a personal physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner who is trained to provide first contact, continuous and comprehensive care.

• Physician-directed medical practice. The personal physician leads a team or teams of individuals at the practice level who collectively take responsibility for ongoing patient care.

• Whole-person orientation. The personal provider is responsible for providing all of the patient's health care needs or for arranging care with other qualified professionals.

• Coordinated and integrated care. Each patient's care is coordinated and integrated across all elements of the health care system and the patient's community.

• Quality and safety focus: All members of the health care team are focused on ensuring high quality care in the medical home.

• Improved access: In the PCMH, enhanced access to care options are available through open scheduling, same-day appointments, secure messaging, and other innovative options for communication between patients, their personal physician and practice staff.

Katterbach Army Health Clinic is the 10th PCMH in under the Europe Regional Medical Command. Army Medicine's goal is to have all of its primary care facilities in the continental United States and overseas achieve NCQA recognition and transform to the PCMH model of care no later than Oct. 1, 2014. The transition to the PCMH model of care is part of Army Medicine's overall shift from a health care system to a system for health.