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ProvenCare Perinatal: A Model for Delivering Evidence/Guideline-Based Care for Perinatal Populations

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Background: Geisinger Health System (GHS) has applied its ProvenCare model to demonstrate that a large integrated health care delivery system, enabled by an electronic health record (EHR), could reengineer a complicated clinical process, reduce unwarranted variation, and provide evidence-based care for patients with a specified clinical condition. In 2007 GHS began to apply the model to a more complicated, longer-term condition of "wellness"—perinatal care.

Adapting ProvenCare to Perinatal Care: The ProvenCare Perinatal initiative was more complex than the five previous ProvenCare endeavors in terms of breadth, scope, and duration. Each of the 22 sites created a process flow map to depict the current, real-time process at each location. The local practice site providers—physicians and mid-level practitioners—reached consensus on 103 unique best practice measures (BPMs), which would be tracked for every patient. These maps were then used to create a single standardized pathway that included the BPMs but also preserved some unique care offerings that reflected the needs of the local context.

Results: A nine-phase methodology, expanded from the previous six-phase model, was implemented on schedule. Pre- to postimplementation improvement occurred for all seven BPMs or BPM bundles that were considered the most clinically relevant, with five statistically significant. In addition, the rate of primary cesarean sections decreased by 32%, and birth trauma remained unchanged as the number of vaginal births increased.

Conclusions: Preliminary experience suggests that integrating evidence/guideline-based best practices into work flows in inpatient and outpatient settings can achieve improvements in daily patient care processes and outcomes.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2011

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  • Published monthly, The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety is a peer-reviewed publication dedicated to providing health professionals with the information they need to promote the quality and safety of health care. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety invites original manuscripts on the development, adaptation, and/or implementation of innovative thinking, strategies, and practices in improving quality and safety in health care. Case studies, program or project reports, reports of new methodologies or new applications of methodologies, research studies on the effectiveness of improvement interventions, and commentaries on issues and practices are all considered.

    David W. Baker, MD, MPH, FACP, executive vice president for the Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation at The Joint Commission, is the inaugural editor-in-chief of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

    Also known as Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement and Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety
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