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How Physicians Are Embracing Preventative Care

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, January 6, 2011

On the face of it, it almost sounds like some CIA operation: "The Proactive Office Encounter Approach."

But it's not clandestine, and there's the rub. The Southern California Permanente Medical Group's patient care system, dubbed POE, appears to reflect what healthcare reform is all about, with designs on improving quality and establishing data to back up what they do, working toward a clean slate of transparency.

The POE system allows physicians to begin focusing on preventative and chronic care needs of patients almost as soon the patients step inside the door of their offices, whether the conditions were reasons behind the visit or not. The system uses, in the medical world parlance, "standardized workflows" and "sophisticated information technology" to achieve its outcomes. Whatever The Southern California Permanente Medical Group calls it, the system is about carrying out preventative care.

Since its inception, POE has contributed to sharp improvement in the group's clinical quality performance, in areas ranging from colorectal screening to blood pressure control, says Michael Kanter, MD, regional medical director of quality and clinical analysis for The Southern California Permanente Medical Group. It is the physician's group for Kaiser Permanente members in Southern California.

Clinicians, labor partners, and health care professionals and administrators work collaboratively to develop the process, in which electronic medical records are important components. Even before a patient's visit to the physician's office, staff works to identify "gaps in care" for particular patients as their histories become better known.

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1 comments on "How Physicians Are Embracing Preventative Care"


scott (1/6/2011 at 11:39 AM)
Preventative vs. preventive June 7, 2010 By Anne 2 Comments Preventive or preventative? Both words have the same meaning[INVALID]intended or used to prevent or hinder[INVALID]but they're not equal in status for careful users of English. Preventive is the real word[INVALID]that is, it is the original adjectival form of prevent[INVALID]but preventative is now so common that we can't help but accept it. Still, if you wish to be taken seriously in formal contexts, you might want to consider using preventive instead of preventative. Although preventative seems to be gaining ground, preventive is still far more common. In web searches, the ratio is still about 3:1 in favor of preventive.