Many aspects of our nation’s healthcare system continue to evolve, including: patient services, reimbursement models, quality improvement, medical education, and utilization of information technology designed to enhance data gathering and reporting. UAMS West is addressing this changing and challenging environment by implementing new clinical and practice management systems that allow us to better serve our patients, trainees, and other stakeholders. Specific efforts and accomplishments in these areas include, but are not limited to: 1) Recognition of UAMS West, in the Spring of 2013, by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a Level III (the highest level) Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH), 2) Application and acceptance into the CMS Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative, and Comprehensive Primary Care PLUS program, 3) Participation in the Arkansas Health Care Payment initiative wherein hospitals, primary care physicians, and specialists work together to improve patient health outcomes and reduce overall healthcare cost, 4) Increase in the number of residents in training through a HRSA Teaching Health Center Grant, and 5) Continued recognition by the ACGME as a fully accredited program.
Western Arkansas, has a need for more family medicine physicians, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, physician assistants, and other healthcare providers. In addition, demand for primary care is increasing as a result of our state’s growing population, the aging of our population, and an increase in the prevalence of chronic illnesses.
To address these needs UAMS West has constructed a new 30,000 sq. ft. clinic. This new facility will allow us to accommodate an increased number of health care profession trainees; effectively service the acute, chronic and preventive needs of our patients, and train our residents and students in patient-centered, team-oriented, cost-effective care.
UAMS West has continued to rebrand/market its program via television and radio spots, outdoor billboards, and web promotion. The focus of the efforts is to promote our quality medical services especially in the areas of family health care, obstetrics, chronic disease management, and preventive care. These promotion efforts also emphasize that we are an integral part of UAMS.
The UAMS West M*A*S*H program continues to be a popular and effective method to introduce high school students to health care careers. M*A*S*H programs conducted this year at Sparks Health System, Mercy Health System, St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, Mena Medical Center and Conway Regional Health Systems provided 115 high school students with the opportunity to learn about careers in the health industry.
The UAMS West library provides services for over 3,000 patrons annually. In addition to helping patrons secure needed resources, the library staff promotes UAMS off-campus programs by proctoring student exams and assisting with other student services.
During the year faculty, residents, and staff participated in community health fairs and student career days; provided medical education for churches, civic groups, and schools; and served on numerous community, state and hospital boards and committees.
We are optimistic about the Future and our ability to improve the health care of our patients while providing quality education to our residents and students.