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Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives

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Improving Patient Care (IPC)

Nurse and patient in wheelchair

IPC Improved: Your Journey Just Got Healthier!

The Indian Health Service (IHS) launched the Improving Patient Care (IPC) program in 2008 to improve the quality of health care and to provide greater access to care for American Indians and Alaska Natives using the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model. Now, seven years after the launch, IPC continues to achieve success in improving patient access to care, implementing clinical quality enhancements and ensuring patient satisfaction.

IPC is making a difference in the health and well-being of American Indians and Alaska Natives. It all began with 13 original sites in 2008; by 2015, 172 facilities (78 federal, 69 Tribal and 25 Urban Indian Programs) have participated in the IPC program, serving approximately 615,000 patients. These sites are changing health care delivery by moving toward a PCMH model — a system of care in which patients receive the care they need when they need it — from their own Indian health care teams.

IPC assesses its work through measures of clinical prevention screenings, management and prevention of chronic conditions, the patient care experience and patient access to care. Since launched, IPC has increased clinical prevention screenings for hypertension and depression, established outreach for victims of domestic/intimate partner violence and developed measures to track patient satisfaction. IPC participants continuously strive to improve the quality of care and use data to drive all improvement activities.

Moreover, the IPC program has been an important contribution to IHS’ role in supporting the Affordable Care Act. By training teams in methods to improve the quality of and access to care, the IPC program is directly supporting US Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) goals and objectives and IHS agency priorities to enhance the quality of care for all people served by IHS, Tribal and Urban Indian health facilities.