ROUNDS Preview: Taking Care into the Community
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Within the first 18 months of implementation, more than 2,200 patients in the test area received their first prescription for at least one of the three prescribed medications. KP is measuring overall results, including the reduction of cardiovascular events, but according to one study, if an additional 10% of U.S. diabetics began taking the three drugs, 32,000 myocardial infarctions and strokes would be prevented each year.
KP has also taken on a program to directly employ midlevel providers and then loan them to community-based clinics. Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States created its "Community Ambassador Program" in 2011 to match KP nurse practitioners and physician assistants with select safety-net health clinics throughout the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia.
The 35 community ambassadors are employed by Kaiser Permanente and serve their roles directly with 15 safety-net clinics on a full-time basis. The goal is for the ambassadors to provide resources such as training, education, and grants that will lead to improving care delivery in vulnerable communities. The partnership will also work to target specific conditions and populations, including reductions in cardiovascular risk and infant mortality and improvements in childhood immunization.
This article appears in the October 2012 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.
Jim Molpus is Leadership Programs Director of HealthLeaders Media.
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