Pen Bay Pediatrics recognized for performance
Rockport — Pen Bay Pediatrics was one of just six pediatric practices participating in the statewide First STEPS, which is Strengthening Together Early Preventive Screening Learning Collaborative to receive the inaugural GOLD award on Sept. 14 for its outstanding performance in increasing childhood and adolescent immunization rates from Sept. 2011-July 2012.
In an effort to improve preventive services for Maine’s children, Maine Quality Counts is leading a three-year pilot with 24 family and pediatric practices in Maine as part of the Improving Health Outcomes for Children Project. IHOC is a collaborative effort in Maine and Vermont supported by a federal CHIPRA Quality Demonstration Grant, awarded to MaineCare Services. As immunizations are one of the cornerstones of children’s health, the practices in First STEPS focused on improving their childhood immunization rates for the first part of the project.
Reflecting on the experience of First STEPS, Dr. Dana Goldsmith, medical director of Pen Bay Pediatrics said in a news release that, “Preventive healthcare for children of all ages is an integral part of what pediatricians provide for their patients, and maintaining up-to-date childhood vaccinations is a very important piece of that care. Sustaining a high percentage of vaccination rates to protect our babies and children from many devastating diseases has become an increasingly complex task for a variety of reasons. Participating in the First STEPS initiative has allowed us to focus on several specific, office-wide performance improvement projects in a collaborative and meaningful manner. We are able to measure our results, and the providers and staff have proudly celebrated our successes in contributing to the overall health of the children in our community.”
“The work that goes into achieving improvements in childhood immunization rates month-after-month is challenging. Each practice should be very proud of its accomplishment,” said Amy Belisle, MD, director of Child Health Quality Improvement and the First STEPS Program at Maine Quality Counts. “Even more exciting is that the practices continue to work on improving their immunization rates and I expect that we will see this kind of improvement spread ultimately throughout all twenty four practices and beyond.”