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January 27, 2010

The Lipitz Center for Integrated Health Care is a Finalist for British Medical Journal Award for its Work on Guided Care

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) has named the Roger C. Lipitz Center for Integrated Health Care at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health a finalist for its annual “Getting Research into Practice” award for the Center’s work on Guided Care. The award honors successful efforts to introduce evidence-based improvements in health care.  BMJ selected the Lipitz Center from a field of 127 submissions showcasing programs across the globe. Early research results suggest that Guided Care improves the quality of care and reduces the costs for older adults suffering from multiple chronic health conditions. The Lipitz Center has also made tools and assistance available to help practices adopt and succeed with the Guided Care model.

“Our shortlist represents the best in an impressive field: those projects and initiatives with a strong evidence base—both in terms of the rigor of the original research they aimed to implement and in the approach taken to achieve change in practice—and those that have a clear and long term impact on outcomes that matter to patients,” said Karen Petterson of the BMJ.

“From the early days of our work, we envisioned Guided Care moving beyond the research stage into the mainstream of health care to help the 133 million Americans with chronic conditions to lead healthier lives,” said Chad Boult, MD, MPH, MBA, director of the Roger C. Lipitz Center for Integrated Health Care in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. “We are honored to be a finalist and to be recognized for our efforts to discover and disseminate practical, cost-effective approaches for providing comprehensive, coordinated, compassionate health care to chronically ill people and their families.”

Developed by a team of researchers at the Johns Hopkins University’s schools of Public Health, Medicine, and Nursing, Guided Care is a type of “medical home” for patients with several chronic health conditions. The model is designed to improve the quality of life and the quality of health care, while improving the efficiency of treating the sickest and most complex patients. Guided Care teams include a registered nurse, two to five physicians, and other members of the office staff, who work closely together for the benefit of each patient. In partnership with the primary care physician, the Guided Care nurse conducts in-home comprehensive assessments, facilitates care planning, educates and empowers patients and families, monitors their conditions monthly, and coordinates the efforts of health care professionals, hospitals, and community agencies to ensure that no important health-related need slips through the cracks.

A multi-site, randomized controlled trial of Guided Care involving 904 older patients, 49 physicians and 308 family members recently concluded in eight locations in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. area. The three-year study was funded by a public-private partnership of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the National Institute on Aging, the John A. Hartford Foundation, and the Jacob and Valeria Langeloth Foundation.
Research published in the American Journal of Managed Care showed that in the first eight months of the study, Guided Care patients spent less time in hospitals and skilled nursing facilities and had fewer episodes of home health care, resulting in an annual net savings of $75,000 per Guided Care nurse. A recent article in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that after 18 months, recipients of Guided Care rated their primary care more highly than did recipients of usual care with regard to coordination with specialists, support for self-management, and with help received in setting goals, making decisions, and solving health-related problems. Other analyses have shown that Guided Care reduces family caregivers’ strain and improves physicians’ satisfaction with chronic care.

With funding from the John A. Hartford Foundation, the Lipitz Center has developed extensive materials to help practices adopt and succeed with the Guided Care model, including a step-by-step implementation manual, online courses for nurses and practice leaders, and guidance in selecting health information technology. Practices can implement Guided Care within six to nine months using these resources.

Finalists were announced in the January 23rd issue of British Medical Journal, and the winner will be announced at the BMJ Group Awards ceremony in London on March 10th, 2010.  The annual BMJ Group Awards recognize individuals, organizations and initiatives that have demonstrated outstanding and measurable contributions to health care. The Getting Research into Practice award is sponsored by NHS Evidence (www.evidence.nhs.uk), a web service that provides free access to clinical and non-clinical information—local, regional, national and international.

About Guided Care

The Guided Care model was developed by a team of clinical researchers at Johns Hopkins
University beginning in 2002. Research and development of Guided Care has been supported by a public-private partnership of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the National Institute on Aging, the John A. Hartford Foundation, the Jacob and Valeria Langeloth Foundation, Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States, Johns Hopkins HealthCare, and the Roger C. Liptiz Center for Integrated Healthcare. For more information about Guided Care, please visit: www.GuidedCare.org. For more information about the tools for adopting Guided Care, please visit www.MedHomeInfo.org.

About the John A. Hartford Foundation

Founded in 1929, the John A. Hartford Foundation is a committed champion of training, research and service system innovations that promote the health and independence of America's older adults. Through its grantmaking, the Foundation seeks to strengthen the nation's capacity to provide effective, affordable care to this rapidly increasing older population by educating "aging-prepared" health professionals (physicians, nurses, social workers), and developing innovations that improve and better integrate health and supportive services. The Foundation was established by John A. Hartford. Mr. Hartford and his brother, George L. Hartford, both former chief executives of the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, left the bulk of their estates to the Foundation upon their deaths in the 1950s. Additional information about the Foundation and its programs is available at www.jhartfound.org.