All you ever wanted to know about Ideal Medical Practices...  (and more!)

     From Moore and Wasson's Sept 2007 article in Family Practice Management, an IMP is defined as "a practice model designed to enhance doctor-patient relationships, increase face-to-face time between doctors and patients, reduce physician workloads, instill patients with a sense of responsibility for their health and cut wasted dollars from the entire system".  There is a direct link between our patients' experience of care and the outcomes we all desire.
     Some of these issues arise from health care policies that hurt us when we try to do the work. Because we live in an environment of lowball price fixing and constantly escalating costs from the insurance trivia games (billing, coding, "mother-may-I") we're forced onto a hamster wheel of "visits" that make it nearly impossible to live up to our professional obligations.
The Ideal Medical Practices project is a vehicle that helps practices deliver highly effective primary care by:
Core attributes of effective primary care are: (Wasson et al JACM 2006)
• Superb access (no waits and delays)
• Efficient office (no wasted patient time)
• Continuity (Reduced in-office fragmentation)
• Patient activation (patients report that they have the information they need to manage their conditions and the confidence to use it)
• Care coordination (de-fragmentation across the continuum of care)
Ideal Medical Practices focus first on laying the foundation for the medical home through a focus on the core attributes of effective primary care. Patients who report they receive care in practices that deliver effective primary care have better control of chronic conditions (HTN, CAD, DM, etc), are more likely to be fully present and able at work, are less likely to use the emergency room or require hospitalization. (Wasson JACM 2006, Moore JACM 2006, Wasson Joint Commission Journal 2008)