Newsletter



December 2013 NewsFlash

Pocono Health System’s Hughes Cancer Center RecognizedAs a Certified Quality Breast Center


Pocono Health System’s Hughes Cancer Center Recognized
As a Certified Quality Breast Center

Pocono Health System’s (PHS) Dale and Frances Hughes Cancer Center was recently recognized as a Certified Quality Breast Center in the National Quality Measures for Breast Centers Program. This distinguished honor represents a commitment by the entire team to provide the highest level of quality breast health care to patients in their community.

Kathleen E. Kuck, President and CEO of Pocono Health System/Pocono Medical Center, recognizes the impact this recognition has on cancer care in our community, “Our oncology team of physicians and staff have always been committed to providing quality cancer care to our patients. We look forward to continuing to provide world class care close to home by utilizing the resources of the National Consortium of Breast Centers, Inc., to help meet the needs of our patients and their loved ones.”

Measuring and comparing quality performance is essential in assessing patient care and allocating resources where improvement is desired. The Dale and Frances Hughes Cancer Center has taken a major step to ensure we provide the best possible quality care to breast patients in the communities we serve. The National Quality Measures for Breast Centers (NQMBC) were developed by referencing the Health Care Advisory Board’s Clinical Quality Dash Board for breast centers published in the fall of 2004. NQMBC reflects more than five years of work, which has culminated in the adoption of more than 30 National Quality Indicators.

The National Consortium of Breast Centers promote excellence in breast health care for the general public through a network of diverse professionals dedicated to the active exchange of ideas and resources. It serves as an informational resource and provides support services to those rendering care to people with breast diseases through educational programs, newsletters, a national directory and patient forums. It also encourages professionals to concentrate and specialize in activities related to breast disease and encourages the development of programs and centers that address breast disease and promote breast health.

They also facilitate collaborative research opportunities on issues of breast health; and developed a set of core measures to define, improve, and sustain quality standards in breast health care programs and for quality performance in all types of breast health care facilities. To learn more about the NQMBC Program, please visit Breastcare.org or for more information about the Dale and Frances Hughes Cancer Center, please visit PoconoHealthSystem.org.
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Pocono Health System Medical Home Earns National Recognition for Patient-Centered Care

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) recently announced that Pocono Health System/Pocono Internal Medicine Specialists in East Stroudsburg has received Recognition from the Patient-Centered Medical Home 2011 (PCMH 2011) program for using evidence-based, patient-centered processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long-term participative relationships.

The patient-centered medical home is a model of care emphasizing care coordination and communication to meet the needs of the patient throughout their lifetime. Research shows that medical homes can lead to higher quality and lower costs, and improve patients’ and providers’ reported experiences of care. The PCMH identifies practices that promote partnerships between individual patients and their personal clinicians, instead of treating patient care as the sum of several episodic office visits. Each patient’s care is tended to by clinician-led care teams, who provide for all the patient’s health care needs and coordinate treatments across the health care system. Medical home clinicians also demonstrate the benchmarks of patient-centered care, including open scheduling, expanded hours, and appropriate use of proven health information systems.

“The patient-centered medical home raises the bar in defining high-quality care by emphasizing access, health information technology and partnerships between clinicians and patients,” said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. PCMH Recognition shows that Pocono Health System/Pocono Internal Medicine Specialists has the tools, systems, and resources to provide their patients with the right care at the right time.”

To receive recognition, which is valid for three years, Pocono Health System demonstrated the ability to meet the program’s key elements embodying characteristics of the medical home. The standards are aligned with the joint principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home established with the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Osteopathic Association. To find clinicians and their practices that have been recognized by the Patient-Centered Medical Home 2011 program please visit http://recognition.ncqa.org. For further information, contact NCQA Customer Support at (888) 275-7585.

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Pocono Health System and VNA/Hospice of Monroe County Develop
a Formalized Partnership to Provide Coordinated and Integrated Care

Pocono Health System (PHS) and VNA/Hospice of Monroe County have developed a formalized partnership to provide coordinated and integrated care to all of the patients they serve. This includes patients in Luzerne County, Monroe County, Northampton County, and Pike County. The new partnership will result in an effective continuum of care from the hospital to home care or hospice care thus improving patient quality, safety, and satisfaction.

“We are pleased to partner with VNA/Hospice of Monroe County because we have a shared mission of providing world class care close to home that is focused on serving our community,” said Kathleen E. Kuck, President and CEO of Pocono Health System/Pocono Medical Center. “We will continue to provide services to our patients regardless of their ability to pay.”

Mark Hodgson, CEO, VNA/Hospice of Monroe County added, “The opportunity to partner with Pocono Health System will strengthen the home health and hospice care that we provide to the region and assist in reducing readmissions.” Best practices identified by Pocono Health System and VNA/Hospice of Monroe County will be incorporated throughout the continuum of care resulting in an enhanced coordination of care and a more effective delivery model.

“We enthusiastically welcome all 87 employees of VNA/Hospice to the Pocono Health System family,” states Kathleen E. Kuck, President and CEO of Pocono Health System/Pocono Medical Center. The Hospice House, an acute in-patient facility for the terminally ill with 6 beds will also become part of Pocono Health System’s Palliative Medicine Program.



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