Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Penn State Medical News

Physicians at Penn State Hershey Stroke Center can now communicate with stroke patients at St. Joseph Medical Center in Reading using LionNet, a system utilizing on-demand patient data and live two-way audio and video. LioNet is the first telemedicine system for stroke patients to be implemented in south-central Pennsylvania.

Plans are for the LionNet team to collaborate with partner hospitals to educate surrounding communities on the symptoms of stroke and the importance of getting to the hospital in a timely manner. The network of LionNet partners is due to grow and put in place at other community hospitals.

In other news, all thirteen of the Penn State Hershey Medical Group’s adult primary care sites have been awarded Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) certifications from the National Committee for Quality Assurance recognizing their transition toward the new care model. 

One important development is that the Penn State College of Medicine will lead the state-level infrastructure for the new national Primary Care Extension Service. AHRQ has chosen only four states to lay the groundwork for the extension service to spread the Medical Home model nationwide. This infrastructure will follow a model similar to the cooperative extension network developed in the early 20th century to educate farmers about the latest farming methods.

“Pennsylvania Spreading Primary Care Enhanced Delivery Infrastructure” referred to as PA SPREAD will work to disseminate Pennsylvania’s model plus the lessons learned from the other three states that includes New Jersey, New York, and Vermont.

Environmental Scans are being conducted in the four states to identify key messengers to being together the necessary state-level multi-sector representatives to implement large scale primary care transformation. Physicians in Pennsylvania are participating in a statewide survey that is aimed towards identifying what services a primary care physician needs during a practice transformation.

A successful PCMH program to help diabetics was implemented in 25 practices in southeast Pennsylvania as part of the statewide initiative and has expanded to more than 150 practices.

Penn State Hershey received a grant from the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians to evaluate and identify best practices to help residency programs train the next generation of primary care physicians on the PCMH concept. In addition, funding provided under ARRA has helped to incorporate the PCMH concept into the curriculum for medical students and enable the physicians see first-hand how to apply PCMH in a clinical setting.