Becoming a PCMH: How one physician transformed his practice

Ever since James L. Holly, MD, began practicing family medicine in 1975, dictation and transcription frustrated him as a means of recording what transpired during patient visits. In 1998, two years after forming a group practice, he convinced his partners to invest in a $650,000 system for electronic health records.

“Everybody laughed at us,” recalls Holly, 72, co-founder and chief executive officer of Southeast Texas Medical Associates LLP, or SETMA for short, which consists of 44 multi-specialty providers and operates six clinics in the Beaumont area. “Needless to say, they stopped laughing a long time ago.”

Leveraging the latest technology has been one of Holly’s fundamental best practices for preparing to transform his group into a Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH). Other principles entail building partnerships between individuals and their personal physicians, and when appropriate, involving patients’ family members in the decision-making process. 

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