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VA North Texas Health Care System

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Patient Aligned Care Team Manages Holistic Care for Life

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Health care provider weighs Veteran
Wednesday, January 5, 2011

VA North Texas Health Care System announces a new model of care focused on Veterans’ needs and goals (Veteran-centered care). The Patient-Aligned Care Team or PACT focuses on:

  • Partnerships–between Veterans and health care teams 
  • Access to care 
  • Coordinated care 
  • Team-based care–with Veterans at the center

The result will be healthier and more satisfied patients, better coordination and holistic care, streamlined delivery of services and lower cost for health care.

The first component of PACT is a partnership with Veterans and their health care teams. Partnering together to plan and make decisions that focus on whole-person care is the first step towards life-long health and wellness.

The second component of PACT is enhanced access to care. The PACT model of care improves a Veteran’s access to health care in many ways. In addition to personal visits with primary care providers, Veterans may schedule visits with other health care professionals who are members of their care team.

The third component of PACT is more coordinated care among all team members. This is done through collaboration. Each member of the team has a clearly defined role and knows how to relate to others on the team. The key is open and frequent communication. Team members meet often to talk with Veterans and each other about the patient’s health care goals and the progress toward achieving them. They coordinate all aspects of the Veteran’s health care within the PACT and with other care teams outside the primary care system if needed.

The fourth component of PACT is the concept of team-based care. Veterans are at the center of their PACT, which also includes their families and caregivers. Each Veteran is assigned a physician-led team that will manage the Veteran’s care for life. The Team consists of the primary care physician, RN, LVN and designated clerk. The primary care team manages and coordinates all care. The PACT will include other specialties as necessary, including social workers, pharmacists, dieticians and case managers.

Working together, the PACT model strives to enhance the quality of human interactions and therapeutic alliances. Each Veteran has a voice in his/her personal care while health care professionals on the team solicit and respect their values, preferences and needs. When all aspects of care are coordinated with PACT, continuity of care is enhanced, and the patient is empowered through information and education.

Using this patient-centered model of care at VA North Texas Health Care System has already resulted in improved customer satisfaction, improved communication between Veteran and caregiver as well as between health care providers of the patient. It has also resulted in a decrease in walk-in appointments.

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) desires to remain at the forefront of health care delivery. To continue the work that has already been accomplished within primary care, VHA has integrated the key elements of PACT into a cohesive, highly functional team primarily focused on the patient’s goals and needs across all of its medical facilities.

Questions regarding the PACT model of care at VA North Texas Health Care System may be referred to Brenda Boley at 214-857-1911 or William Nguyen at 214-857-2017.