The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) recently recertified Marshall Family Practice as a level three (highest level) designated Patient Centered Medical Home. The federally-designated Rural Health Clinic has held this designation for three years. In addition, this week the top healthcare accreditation organization certified Grand River Medical Clinic in Brunswick as a level three Patient Centered Medical Home for the first time as well. The certifications are the culmination of a multi-year project to empower patients to be “in the driver seat” as it relates to their health care rather than treatment and management of disease being physician driven. Certification of the Akeman-McBurney Medical Clinic should be finalized very soon. The three clinics are part of the Fitzgibbon Hospital family of services which help carry out the organization’s mission of “improving the health of the community.”
“For a very long time, when you were sick, you called the doctor. He or she would spend a few minutes with you and prescribe medications or tell you how to get better. With our Patient Centered Medical Homes, we take a different approach. Rather than telling you what you need to do, we sit down with you to find out what is important to you. We want to help you understand what is happening, and be a resource for you to set and achieve goals for yourself so that you can truly manage your own health,” said Roberta Griffitt, RN/MSN, Health Home Director and Nurse Care Manager for Marshall Family Practice, Grand River Medical Clinic and Akeman-McBurney Medical Clinic. “This approach helps you to understand your health and allows us to be your partner in your care.”
An example of the Patient Centered Medical Home at work is the patient who may recently have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or some other chronic illness like chronic heart failure or high blood pressure. Rather than just receiving prescription medications, these new patients are plugged in to resources designed just for them to empower them to take back their health; resources such as support groups, educational materials, behavioral health counseling as well as an open line of communication with their medical provider and care coordination team.
“It really is our goal to come alongside a person, to help them understand exactly what is happening and be there to answer questions. The patient ultimately sets their own attainable goals, and we try to support them. An example might be the person struggling with obesity with high blood pressure. Rather than telling them they must lose weight, we would much rather ask them what their goals are and do everything we can to support them,” said Andy Snyder, MBA, Director of Rural Clinics for Fitzgibbon Hospital.
Additional benefits to having your care delivered by providers in a Patient Centered Medical Home is expanded hours, on-call support from a care staff who has access to your medical record, and an online tool within the free patient portal provided to every patient so they can securely message their provider. They also keep places in the daily schedule to accommodate same-day appointments for those needing to see their provider as soon as possible. Such access to care and advice lowers the overall cost of care because it allows the emergency department to be utilized for real emergencies rather than for conditions that can be treated by your physician in the office.
“We want people to definitely utilize the emergency room when there is an emergency,” said Snyder. “When those emergency visits occur, our staff will follow up to make sure they understand their diagnosis, their prescriptions and any other concerns they may have. But we also want to provide care for those less emergent illnesses in the office. That is more convenient for the patient and more cost effective in the long run in the management of their health.”
“Routinely following up with and evaluating the progress of our patients is a team effort as we seek to help them reach their goals and improve their health. Every patient is different and as we work to provide the best patient-centered care, those individual needs are recognized and acknowledged. It is a win-win for patients and providers,” said Sandi Moser, Family Nurse Practitioner for Grand River Medical Clinic. Moser is one of the advanced nurse practitioners providing care in Brunswick along with Brooke Schreckhise, Family Nurse Practitioner. The pair of family nurse practitioners provide care with Lorenzo Romney, D.O., family practice physician.
“You can tell that this team really care about what they are doing with the patients because they go the extra mile on a consistent basis. We are proud of their hard work in receiving their recertification in Marshall and their new certification in Brunswick,” said Snyder.
If you would like to take back your health and learn to manage your chronic illness, Marshall Family Practice in Marshall and Grand River Medical Clinic in Brunswick are taking new patients. To make your appointment in Marshall, call (660)886-7800. To visit a provider at Grand River Medical Clinic in Brunswick, call (660)548-3161.