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May you live in interesting times…ancient curse
These are interesting times indeed for primary care medicine.
More than two decades of accumulated evidence has revealed that having a primary care physician:
Yet, in the United States of America, while leading the world in total per capita health care spending, we lag behind nearly all other industrialized nations in quality of primary care services and suffer accordingly with high rates of preventable diseases.
Not surprisingly, as support for primary care services in this country has fallen, fewer doctors in training are choosing to become Family Physicians, General Internists and Pediatricians, the primary care specialists. The American Academy of Family Practice and the Institute of Medicine have predicted a collapse of primary care if changes do not occur (3). We appear to lack the political will to reorient our health system to primary care and to provide coverage and access to health care for all America.
However, the news in primary care is not all bad. Despite the stresses, and perhaps in part because of them, primary care physicians have been forced to reevaluate their work and to determine its true value to those that they serve, their patients. A new focus on quality with measurable improvements in health outcomes is driving physicians and health systems to define a “New Model of Care” that is patient-centered, safe, timely, effective, equitable, and efficient.
A pioneer in this effort, Dr. Ed Wagner, M.D., has described “The Planned Care Model”. This model of care, developed with the support of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the MacColl Institute for Healthcare Innovation identifies the essential elements of a health care system that encourage high-quality care. These elements are the community, the health system, self-management support, delivery system design, decision support and clinical information systems.
Family Medicine of Port Angeles has embraced the planned care model while pioneering the use of the electronic health record on the North Olympic Peninsula. We have been measuring and improving the health statistics of the thousands of patients we care for and are redesigning our clinic to continue to provide measurable improvements in care. These changes are designed to streamline the process of care while fulfilling our mission: To provide our patients with the highest quality primary care in the world.
We are especially dedicated to developing a clinical model that brings informed, activated patients in contact with a prepared, proactive practice team to have productive interactions and improved health outcomes, as envisioned in the planned care model.
What characterizes an “informed, activated” patient?
What characterizes a “prepared” practice team?
What are productive interactions and improved health outcomes?
How are we doing?
At Family Medicine of Port Angeles we seek to provide our patients with a medical home where they are known and their health care needs are taken care of efficiently and with high quality. We provide our patients the following services:
High Quality Care without waiting is the goal we strive for. It takes commitment and planning from activated patients and prepared, proactive practice teams to make it work.
Urgent Care: If you are ill, an appointment will be offered on the day you call. Please call (360) 452-7891 for an appointment. Plan on spending 5 to 10 minutes with your provider during a typical Urgent Care visit, but you may spend additional time with other staff during diagnosis or treatment. For life threatening illness please call 911 for emergency care.
Planned care: Appointments are typically scheduled in advance, focused on a single problem such as diabetes or high blood pressure, and are improved by preparation. Whether you are completely healthy or are living with a health condition such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or a heart condition, preparation is important to get the most out of your visit. Plan on spending 5 to 10 minutes with your provider during a typical Planned Care visit, however you may spend additional time with other staff during diagnosis or treatment.
A special type of planned care visit is the annual preventive care exam.
All visits: High Quality Care without waiting is a goal we can strive for together. Please see your provider as soon as possible for each new health issue. Lists of problems saved up over months make time management in the office difficult or impossible, thereby making your visit rushed, disorganized and decreasing quality of care for you or those following you. Every problem you bring to our attention will be worked up thoroughly. You may find answers to many of your health concerns in our patient resources section.
Your prepared, proactive practice team will be preparing for your visit.
During your appointment we will:
Preventive care is most effective when scheduled at regular intervals. An important part of your health care visit is scheduling your next appointment!
Medication refills: are done as a part of your planned care visits. If you are running out of medication it is time for a planned care appointment directed at the problem for which you take the medication. At each planned care appointment we will refill all of your medications to last until your next planned appointment. If your medication supply is low with no more refills it is time to visit your provider for preventive care or chronic disease management (Planned Care). Please call for an appointment 2-3 weeks before you run out of medication.