By Kyra Bergman
Monongahela Valley Hospital is now home to the region’s first Primary Care Resource Center (PCRC). PCRCs are hospital-based care facilities that allow outpatients from physicians’ offices to receive highly coordinated care in a single location. They support team-based care coordination of chronic medical conditions and provide primary care support services beyond the means of small practices. Dr. Keith T. Kanel, the chief medical officer, said this venture builds on a pilot project that achieved a 44% reduction in readmissions for patients with COPD.
Dr. Kanel said the PCRC engages patients as soon as they come to the hospital, providing additional counseling on all aspects of their plan of care, including medications, diet and nutrition, diabetes education and even smoking cessation. Normally, instructions are given only at the time of discharge.
Program officials, medical staff and dignitaries recently toured the new onsite Primary Care Resource Center (PCRC) at Monongahela Valley Hospital. The PCRC is the non-profit hospital’s latest effort to better serve patients by reducing readmissions. The center also helps physicians who manage the care of patients with chronic diseases.
MVH nurse care managers and a pharmacist will interact with and counsel patients with conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure (CHF) and coronary artery disease (CAD), beginning at the time of the patients’ admission to the hospital.
The center was created in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI). PRHI received a $10.4 million Health Care Innovation Award from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. One of only 26 initial grantees from around the country, selected from over 2,500 applications. The grant will expand PCRCs to seven regional hospitals participating in PRHI’s Accountable Care Network Project. Dr. Karen Wolk Feinstein, Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative president and CEO, said the idea for the center was 15 years in the making.
The Center will provide services such as:
• Care coordination for patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), and Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). A PCRC Nurse Care Manager will follow all patients admitted to the hospital with one of those diagnoses for the duration of the hospital stay.
• Respiratory therapy evaluation and inhaler training.
• Pharmacist consultation with a complete medication review and patient education.
• Smoking cessation, nutrition counseling, and diabetes education.
The Mon Valley PCRC team; which includes Cara Anderson, PharmD and nurses Deborah Holman, Susan Campus, and Sharon Nash, will work to ensure the patient is fully prepared for discharge and when necessary a PCRC member will conduct home visits to ensure the treatment plan is working well for the patient.
The Primary Care Resource Center is on the 4th floor of Monongahela Valley Hospital where the maternity ward was located. This 1000-sq-ft area four room outpatient facility is a soothing environment for patients to get the education and coordinated care they need to thrive after leaving the hospital.
For more information on the Center call 724-258-1932.