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Mercy Clinics Recognized as a National Model of Innovative Primary Care Practice

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

DES MOINES, Iowa – Mercy Clinics is among 30 clinics nationwide selected as an Exemplar Primary Care Practice by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Group Health Research Institute, who have teamed up on a new initiative to identify practice innovations that make primary care more efficient, effective and satisfying to patients and providers. The Primary Care Team: Learning from Effective Ambulatory Practices (LEAP) project identifies primary care practices that have focused on teamwork and new roles for health professionals in ways that support consistently outstanding primary care. Mercy Clinics was selected through a rigorous national process to receive the designation.

“We are honored to be a part of this innovative project,” said Dr. David Swieskowski, Senior Vice President & Chief Accountable Care Officer at Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines. “For years we have been working on improving our processes to lead a positive transformation in the way health care services are designed for and delivered to our patients. These efforts are not only essential to the health of our patients and their families, but also to our organization as a whole.”

The goal of the LEAP project is to identify and share innovative staffing arrangements that make primary care more accessible and effective for patients. A LEAP team recently conducted a three-day site visit at the Mercy Indianola Family Medicine and Urgent Care clinic to understand how the Mercy Clinics primary care team delivers high quality, patient-centered health care. The exemplary practices within Mercy Clinics will now be available in a learning community to share best practices and distill innovations into training and technical assistance materials that can be used by others.

Mercy Clinics will be influential in developing creative workforce models that will be disseminated to primary care practices nationwide. As a 2008 recipient of the American Medical Group Association’s esteemed Acclaim Award, Mercy Clinics has a strong history of improving the health care delivery system in a primary care setting. The programs and best practices already in place at Mercy Clinics in the Des Moines metro area will now be shared with other health care systems to create the best possible experiences and outcomes for all patients.

 “With millions of Americans about to enter the health care system, primary care must become more effective and efficient. Building high performing care teams is a key step,” said Ed Wagner, MD, MPH, co-director of the LEAP project and director emeritus of the MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation at Group Health Research Institute in Seattle. “This new project will allow us to identify best practices and help other primary care sites replicate and adopt innovations to improve access to care and the quality of care they provide.”

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