A home without walls

A home without walls

Ministry Patient Centered Medical Home puts your health care in the hands of a great team

Today, people want more from health care. They want the best high-tech treatments available, but they also want the personal attention and care of yesteryear … and at the same time, they want a way to reduce health care costs.

What’s the answer? Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH)

This program helps patients achieve that level of care.

What is a “medical home”? “Medical home” can be a confusing term. It is not a physical “home.” Rather, it is a relationship developed with your primary care provider and his or her staff at a medical facility. It is a place where people know you, know your needs and preferences, and know the best way to care for you.

Many believe the current primary care delivery system is not as effective as it could be. More patients and shorter appointment times are a challenge for primary care providers. “Say you are a family health care provider with a patient panel of 2,500. If you were to do all the recommended preventive care, amongst all of the other things you need to do for a patient, it would take 17 hours a day. You just can’t get it done,” said Mark Fenlon, MD, regional vice president of Ministry Medical Group (MMG) and a family medicine physician in Plover.

“Our new approach is an effective alternative,” said Dr. Fenlon. Your health care team will consider all of the influences on your health, your limitations, problems and personal beliefs; together you will decide the best treatments, therapies and interventions for a long-term healing relationship for you and your loved ones.”

PCMH – a new way to treat patients

“I’m convinced this is the primary care model of the future,” said Dr. Fenlon.

“In the past, health has been treated on a symptomatic basis,” said Ronald Cortte, MD, family medicine physician at Ministry Medical Group in Tomahawk. “The patient would come into the office; the health care provider would investigate the symptoms, test for problems and offer treatment based on the condition presented. The PCMH gives us the opportunity to investigate the root cause of the problem and its effect on the rest of the body. We still may treat the symptoms short-term, but the long-term goal is finding the root cause of the problem and working with the patient to cure or manage that.”

How PCMH works

“For instance, a person who comes in feeling sluggish and nauseous may be tested for diabetes prior to the appointment,” said Dr. Cortte. “If the test shows pre-diabetes, the primary care physician will meet with the patient for the initial diagnosis; a case manager may work with the patient for diabetes counseling, which could include dietary and lifestyle management counseling. If the patient is struggling emotionally with the diagnosis or destructive habits, a behavioral health counselor may also be called in to offer guidance with the emotional aspects of coping and change. The patient then leaves the office with information and strategies to manage the condition.

“Every health concern causes a vulnerability that affects the patient, the patient’s family and co-workers. PCMH gives us an opportunity to practice preventive health care for our patients so they can live long and full lives with the people who are important to them,” said Dr. Cortte.

“At the end of the day, Patient Centered Medical Home brings me great satisfaction,” said Dr. Cortte. “We can provide needed services immediately at the time of the appointment. We can take care of everything – every time for every patient – mind, body and spirit.”

Ministry’s new patient centered services:

  • Give patients access 24 hours a day/7 days a week/365 days a year.
  • Make sure tests and procedures are not duplicated.
  • Provide effective care based on the patient’s goals and values.

What patients want

  • 75% want the ability to interact with their physician online – appointments, prescriptions, test results.
  • 77% want to ask questions without a visit.
  • 75% want email access as part of their overall care.
  • 62% say access to these services would influence their choice of physicians

Source: Medfusion, an AAFP affinity partner, 2008

Patient Centered Medical Home means better care, lower costs, increased satisfaction and improved efficiency.

Ministry’s PCMH centers the health care team around you, the patient

PCMH health care providers are trained to care for people of all ages, regardless of disease, injury or illness. With a holistic and proactive approach to promote health through chronic disease management and behavioral change, your health care team will get to know you and your family.

Ministry Medical Group is building strong primary care provider-patient relationships within its Patient Centered Medical Home. A personal relationship with your primary care team replaces intermittent care with a coordinated, long-term shared responsibility for your care.

In Ministry’s PCMH, your primary care provider, which may be a physician, a physician assistant or a nurse practitioner, will coordinate all your care as he or she leads a team of health care professionals who work together to care for your needs. Your health care team knows that trying to fix part of a health problem without addressing your whole body will not lead to the best solution.

Each treatment recommendation will consider your whole person – body, mind and spirit – to ensure all treatments promote your overall health. The electronic medical records and team approach assures patient safety, prevents drug interactions and avoids duplication of tests and unnecessary costs.

Ministry Medical Group’s PCMH also makes availability a priority. In the future, many medical home clinics will extend their current 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule to include evening, weekend and holiday hours.

Role of patients as part of the care team improves outcomes

In addition to extended hours, patient-centered medical home will give patients access to communication through patient portals associated with electronic health records. Ministry Health Care also plans to implement electronic visits for our regular patients.

When you work with a health care team who knows you and your health history, an office visit may not always be necessary; a diagnosis for recurring conditions such as urinary tract infections and other chronic conditions may be available through nurse-driven procedures or a standing order set. Future plans include enabling patients to access information using the technology of today, including having lab results and information available to them online day and night. The integration of electronic medical records and the team approach to care helps the primary care clinician track your appointments and identify needed preventive services. This assures we provide the care you need, when you need it.

Ministry wants to help patients become more involved in their own health care. Teamwork is an important piece of Ministry Medical Group’s Patient Centered Medical Home. That team includes the most important member – you, the patient.

Watch this video to learn more about Patient Centered Medical Home.

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