Commitment to Quality Health Care and Services
Summit Medical Group is devoted to the highest standard of care for each patient who enters our doors.
To ensure that each patient at Summit Medical Group receives outstanding care and services, we carefully track their experiences, measure their satisfaction, and improve our services to consistently:
- Achieve excellent clinical outcomes
- Ensure safe practices
- Improve patient care and health through evidence-based practices
- Apply the most up-to-date medical knowledge
- Use leading-edge technology
Our highly trained staff members deliver superior care and service that is based on respect, kindness, and compassion.
In addition to meeting our own high standards for health care, Summit Medical Group uses external methods for evaluating and continuously improving our level of care.
Our Quality Improvement Programs
In 2008, Summit Medical Group initiated quality improvement programs to improve childhood immunization completion rates and encourage scheduling and attendance for mammograms.
For its Quality Improvement Immunization Program, the Group identified and scheduled patients with outstanding immunizations. As a result of the proactive process, the average immunization completion rate among pediatric patients at SMG increased from 84% in 2008 to 97% in 2010 — figures that compare favorably with the national immunization average of 66% that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in 2010. In addition, the program now includes a Pediatric Vaccine Update Card so that physicians and staff can easily track patients’ immunizations. The Group will further increase childhood vaccination rates by evaluating its pediatricians’ performance every 2 months and comparing SMG childhood immunization data with CDC benchmarks.
For its Quality Improvement Mammogram Program, the Group identified patients eligible for an annual mammogram. An SMG care manager then called and educated each patient about the importance of annual mammograms. After scheduling the screenings and other related appointments, the care manager monitored how many patients attended their screening as scheduled. Results of the program show that 86% of patients attended their mammograms as scheduled. This figure is up from 64% in 2007. The Group evaluates its performance quarterly and compares its data with the New Jersey and US 90th percentiles.
- For its Quality Improvement Diabetes Program, the Group identified and alerted SMG practitioners about patients with diabetes they were scheduled to see. The alerts highlighted patients at high risk for any disease or condition and allowed practitioners to prepare for the patient's visit. In particular, the alerts ensured that practitioners asked all pertinent questions and offered important recommendations for nutrition counseling, weight loss, and exercise. In addition, staff members in the Group's Diabetes Live Well Program called and reminded patients with diabetes to visit the Summit Medical Group Laboratory for an A1c check. Results were sent to the patient's primary care practitioner a week before the patient's routine 3- to 6-month visit. Patients whose A1c values were too high were seen immediately. As a result of the weekly practitioner alerts and A1c-check reminders, the Group saw a significant increase from 8% in 2007 to almost 20% in 2009 in patients' A1c, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and blood pressure control. The data exceeded those for New Jersey overall, which have consistently been at 8% from 2007 until the first quarter of 2011.
Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set
Summit Medical Group uses the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS), a voluntary method for measuring the quality of outpatient care and comparing it with other health plans. HEDIS data allow us to continuously monitor our level of care and services, identify areas for improvement, and make relevant, scientifically sound changes that improve how we deliver care to our patients. More than 90% of America’s health plans use HEDIS data to measure care and service.
Physician Quality Reporting Initiative
The Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) is a new, voluntary assessment tool that Summit Medical Group uses to monitor the link between the cost of health care and the value of care we provide. PQRI data help us identify areas to economize so that we can maximize care and services to provide the highest standard of patient care.
Readmission Reduction Plan
Summit Medical Group uses a Readmission Reduction Plan to minimize unplanned and avoidable hospital readmissions. After carefully reviewing the patient’s records, our case manager will develop a thoughtful follow-up care plan that ensures the patient’s transition from hospital to home is as safe and successful as possible.
Live Well Programs
When our HEDIS data highlight needs for our patients, Summit Medical Group responds proactively to give patients the tools and information they need to improve and maintain their health. For example, we have developed The Diabetes Live Well Program, which provides outstanding medical and educational services for people with diabetes. The Preventive Medicine Live Well Program is another unique service Summit Medical Group has developed to help patients live and stay well.
Environment of Care Facility Rounds
The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) Environment of Care (EOC) rounds focus on the general safety of our facilities, including fire, gas and electric, storage, security, and infection control. The rounds are designed to assess and reduce the risk of exposure to potentially hazardous conditions and operations that could result in injury, illness, property loss, or environmental damage. Summit Medical Group strictly adheres to NJDOH and EOC guidelines to ensure the safety of our patients, staff, visitors, and the community.
Patient Safety and Ambulatory Surgery Center Performance Monitoring
The NJDOH has recently instituted monthly and annual Patient Safety and Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) performance that correlates with the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) requirements for outpatient care. Summit Medical Group voluntarily uses Patient Safety and Ambulatory Surgery Center data to measure the quality of its services and performance against nationally recognized standards. After conducting a self-assessment, expert Accreditation Association surveyors who have extensive experience in the ambulatory health care environment review our center to ensure that it provides high-quality health care that is aligned with AAAHC standards.
In 2011, the Group scored above national figures on a patient satisfaction survey for specific criteria in 5 out of 7 categories, including:
Appointments and access to care
- Ability to get an appointment in a reasonable amount of time
- Efficiency of checkin
- Wait times in reception
- Wait times in examination rooms
- Keeping patients informed about delayed appointments
Communication with patients
- Promptly answering phone calls
- Getting advice and help during office hours
- Explaining procedures
- Getting test results in a reasonable amount of time
- Promptly returning calls
- Ability to contact us after hours
- Offering convenient hours of operation
- Overall comfort
- Willingness to listen carefully to patients
- Taking time to answer patients' questions
- Explaining things in an understandable way
- Thoroughness of examination