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Improving Patient Care (IPC)

A child patient with his parent and a male staff

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 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. It 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.

Now part of the IHS Office of Quality, the IPC program continues to provide training and technical assistance to support Indian health facilities on their journey to PCMH implementation and recognition. IPC 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 (QI) activities.

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!

Recognition and Accreditation

Congratulations to the following facilities on their recent accreditations/reaccreditations and Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) and Dental Home (PCDH) designations.

  • Albuquerque IHS Dental Clinic at Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI), Albuquerque, NM — PCDH designation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC).
  • Jicarilla Service Unit, Jicarilla Apache Health Care Facility, Dulce, NM — PCMH designation by AAAHC.
  • Lower Brule IHS Health Center, Lower Brule, SD — PCMH designation by AAAHC.
  • Northern Cheyenne Service Unit, Northern Cheyenne Community Health Center, Lame Deer Health Center, Lame Deer, MT — PCMH designation by AAAHC.
  • Rapid City Service Unit, Sioux San Hospital, Rapid City, SD — Full accreditation and PCMH and PCDH designations by AAAHC.
  • Taos-Picuris Service Unit, Taos-Picuris Indian Health Center, Tao Pueblo, NM — PCMH designation by AAAHC.
  • Ute Mountain Ute Service Unit, Towaoc, CO — Reaccreditation and PCMH designation by AAAHC.
  • White Earth Service Unit, White Earth Indian Health Center, Ogema, MN — Reaccreditation and PCMH and PCDH designation by AAAHC.
  • Zuni Comprehensive Community Health Center, Zuni, NM — The Joint Commission (TJC) Accreditation and PCMH certification for outpatient services.

Keep up the good work!