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Improving Patient Care (IPC)

Nurse and patient in wheelchair

IPC Improved: Your Journey Just Got Healthier!

Since 2008, when the Indian Health Service (IHS) launched the Improving Patient Care (IPC) program to improve the quality of health care and to provide greater access to care for American Indians and Alaska Natives, the program has grown and gained recognition throughout the Indian health system. In 2017, IHS leadership signed a Special General Memorandum (SGM) 2017-1, which requires Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) designation for all IHS ambulatory care facilities by Dec. 31, 2021.

This is good news for IHS facilities, as well as for patients and ensures quality health care delivery in which patients receive the care they need, when they need it — from their own primary care providers and Indian health care teams. The IPC Program continues to provide training and technical assistance to support Indian health facilities on their journey to PCMH implementation and recognition. The IPC Program has developed specialized teams and processes to assess progress through various measures, including preventive screenings, management of chronic conditions, the patient experience and access to care.

Since the launch of the IPC Program, health facilities have increased screenings for hypertension and depression, established outreach for victims of domestic/intimate partner violence and developed systems to evaluate patient satisfaction. (Learn more under Impacts and Outcomes!) Meanwhile, IPC continues to promote the use of standardized measures and data to drive all quality improvement activities.

Check out our new additions to the site! These include a new page for IHS patients about the benefits of the PCMH model of care, and our new Quality Portal, a password-protected area where staff from IHS, Tribal and Urban Indian facilities can share Quality Improvement (QI) resources and event listings, consult with subject matter experts and discuss QI questions and pathways to PCMH recognition.

The Road to PCMH Recognition

Watch our new video Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov  to learn how your facility can begin the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) recognition process!