When practice transformation impedes practice improvement

Ann Fam Med. 2015 May-Jun;13(3):273-5. doi: 10.1370/afm.1789.


I lead a small practice in rural western North Carolina. We have embraced the patient-centered medical home model and other practice-improvement initiatives, and I have seen our practice transformed in many positive ways. But in the past year alone, my staff and I have spent hundreds of hours studying for and taking exams, certifying for numerous programs, and updating our electronic health records system (EHR) to meet new national requirements and then relearning our EHR. Seeing patients used to be the hardest part of my job. It is now the easiest by far. I am considering walking away from the time-intensive PCMH certification even though it would cause financial hardship. We have more important business at hand-taking excellent care of patients, improving our practice, and meaningfully engaging with our patients.

Keywords: PCMH; meaningful use; patient-centered medical home; practice improvement; quality indicators.

MeSH terms

  • Certification / economics*
  • Electronic Health Records
  • Family Practice / trends*
  • Health Care Reform
  • Humans
  • Meaningful Use
  • Patient-Centered Care / standards*
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care