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Cleveland Clinic Earns Primary Care Medical Home Certification from the Joint Commission

First Hospital in the Nation to Receive Certification

Monday, March 10, 2014

Cleveland Clinic is the first hospital in the United States to earn The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Primary Care Medical Home (PCMH) certification by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety.

Cleveland Clinic underwent a rigorous on-site survey in September 2013. Joint Commission expert surveyors evaluated Cleveland Clinic on how effectively primary care clinicians and interdisciplinary teams work in partnership with patients to provide comprehensive, coordinated and patient-centered care.

The Joint Commission’s PCMH certification option for hospitals was launched in February 2013, and helps accredited hospitals and critical access hospitals ensure patients receive timely and appropriate treatment; increase patient satisfaction; improve patient outcomes; and reduce the overall costs to the health care system.

“Primary care medical homes represent a new approach for hospitals to emphasize their commitment to patient-centered care within their outpatient care service delivery sites,” said Mark G. Pelletier, RN, M.S., chief operating officer, Division of Accreditation and Certification Operations, The Joint Commission. “By focusing on teamwork, care coordination, a population-based approach and increased access to primary care services, hospitals that achieve PCMH certification will have the framework in place that will assist them in their efforts to deliver the best care possible for their patients.”

David L. Longworth, M.D., Chair of the Medicine Institute at Cleveland Clinic, said, “We are thrilled to be the first integrated health care delivery system in the country to receive this recognition. This certification recognizes our striving to be national leaders in population management and transformation of the care delivery model in the United States.”

As an outcome of this survey, 39 practices at 29 sites - involving 230 primary care physicians and advanced practice nurses - received Primary Care Medical Home certification at Cleveland Clinic.

"By achieving The Joint Commission’s PCMH certification, we are using a nationally recognized framework that is designed to provide the highest quality patient-centered care,” said Meghan Snow, Administrator for Cleveland Clinic’s Medicine Institute.

The PCMH certification option is designed for accredited hospitals and critical access hospitals that have outpatient care services that include the provision of primary care services offered by a primary care clinician. Patients benefit from this model because they have increased access to the services of the clinician and an interdisciplinary team; the care provided by other clinicians and facilities is tracked and coordinated; and evidence-based treatment protocols guide their care. This model of care also focuses on increased education and self-management by the patient.

Cleveland Clinic first began piloting the PCMH model of care in 2010.

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S.News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. More than 3,000 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 11,000 nurses represent 120 medical specialties and subspecialties. The Cleveland Clinic health system includes a main campus near downtown Cleveland, eight community hospitals, more than 75 Northern Ohio outpatient locations, including 16 full-service Family Health Centers, Cleveland Clinic Florida, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Cleveland Clinic Canada, and, currently under construction, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. In 2012, there were 5.1 million outpatient visits throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system and 157,000 hospital admissions. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 130 countries. Visit us at Follow us at

About The Joint Commission

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 10,300 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,500 other health care organizations that provide nursing and rehabilitation center care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. The Joint Commission currently certifies more than 2,000 disease-specific care programs, focused on the care of patients with chronic illnesses such as stroke, joint replacement, stroke rehabilitation, heart failure and many others. The Joint Commission also provides health care staffing services certification for more than 750 staffing offices. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.

Editor’s Note: Cleveland Clinic News Service is available to provide broadcast-quality interviews and B-roll upon request.

Jenny Popis, Cleveland Clinic, 216.444.8853,
Elizabeth Eaken Zhani, The Joint Commission, 630.792.5914,