Wednesday, September 10, 2008

IHS Building Care Teams

The Indian Health System’s Innovations in Planned Care (IPC) program is an initiative to help prevent diseases, study behavioral health, and provide better chronic care. IHS wants to put strong care teams together to provide better coordinated care for Tribes and communities to improve the care for chronic conditions, like diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and asthma. This effort requires the patient and family to be at the center of care so that reliable quality will be provided everywhere and every time for every person.

The first fourteen Tribal, IHS, and urban pilot sites of the initial IPC project have been working for over a year with support from national faculty and the partners at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. The initial pilot sites have already begun to show improvement in screening for cancer, domestic violence, and alcohol misuse, as well as in the care of diabetes and other chronic medical problems. Wait times have been reduced, access to care has improved, and patients now have a care team and provider that they know and who knows them.

The National Chronic Care Team is expanding the IPC innovation collaborative program from fourteen to 40 teams. The original fourteen sites are invited to continue to participate in the expanded project and will have the opportunity to mentor sites that are new to the process. IHS is actively looking for participation from Tribal, IHS, and urban programs to participate. The expanded IPC II program is scheduled to begin in October 2008 and continue through March 2010.

The Chronic Care Model that IHS and their partners use was developed at the MacColl Institute for Healthcare Innovation, adopted by the World Health Organization, with the model tested and implemented widely in the U.S. and aboard. The Chronic Care Model focuses on the relationship between an informed and activated patient, family and community, and their proactive healthcare team.

The IHS has extensive experience with the Chronic Care Model in diabetes care since IHS has provided improved care in clinical prevention and chronic conditions at several facilities. These facilities include the tribally managed South Central Foundation in Anchorage, Community Health Centers, and the Veterans Health Administration.