GSC recognized as top performing clinic

May 28, 2014

The Good Samaritan Clinic of Haywood County has been recognized as one of the top performing clinics within the North Carolina Association of Free Clinics (NCAFC). North Carolina has 81 NCAFC free clinics and is one of the largest networks of free clinics in the country. There are approximately 1,200 free clinics nationwide.

The results from the 2013 Outcome Survey put GSC as a leader among free clinics throughout the state.  In February staff members audited over 500 patient charts assigning quantitative measures for the management of chronic disease.  As part of the survey GSC reported positive outcomes for patients diagnosed with chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and COPD.

Patients at the free clinic are refilling medications as expected and receiving outstanding patient care through regular lab work and appropriate referrals.  The survey also showed that 88 percent of patients saw a decrease in emergency room visits and 97 percent saw a decrease in the number of hospital admissions from the previous year.

Last week, staff from the NCAFC performed an onsite peer review.  This review gave NCAFC staff the opportunity to learn from GSC staff and volunteers about best practices for free clinics. Part of the learning process was to review and validate data submitted in the survey.  This included review of pharmacy refill rates and adherence to the American Diabetes Association guidelines for diabetes management and the Joint National Committee recommendations for hypertension.

The final summary of the peer review showed glowing results for the Good Samaritan Clinic. Seventy-four percent of diabetic patients followed up with care and received the appropriate testing to keep their disease under control; and  89 percent of patients with hypertension reported a blood pressure measurement less than 140/90.  Patients who smoke and have COPD have been consistently offered smoking cessation information annually, with a large number able to quit smoking.

Under the guidance of GSC medical director, Dr. Jonathan White, the clinic is positioning itself as an integral part of the health care system in Haywood County.

“I see the clinic working with the hospital to recognize patients who need a primary medical home and reduce overall health care costs for the community,” said White.  “In the future, the clinic will be offering services to even more patients in need with the addition of a new provider over the summer.”

The Good Samaritan Clinic provides primary medical care and mental health services to uninsured adults and patients with Medicaid.  Most GSC patients fall in the gap created by North Carolina not expanding Medicaid. To qualify, patients must be between the ages of 18-64 and 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level or have Medicaid.

Over 4,600 patients are currently active at the clinic, and 85 pecent of clinic funding comes from churches and individuals in the community.

For more information about the clinic or to make a donation, visit www.gschaywood.org.

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