Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What Do Our Patients Really Think About Our Care Management and the Patient-Centered Medical Home?

I've been discussing for a while the benefits of GBMC’s patient-centered medical home model and how we are working hard to ensure our patients receive coordinated care that focuses on the long-term management of chronic health conditions. We are building a system that delivers the care we would want for our own loved ones.

Over the past few months, I've talked about the new medical home office being designed and built for one of our primary care practices, Family Care Associates, and we've heard about coordination of care from one of our own RN care managers. But everyone knows how proud I am of GBMC and I am our chief salesperson. Readers of the blog expect me to say great things about our system and they should be curious about what our patients really think.  So, it was time I sat down and talked to some of them who are experiencing our care to hear what they really think about our system. Do they really believe that we are serving them better?

Last week, I met Alexis Watkins. Alexis has been a patient of Dr. Gregory Small, at our Texas Station primary care office, for several years and has worked closely with RN Care Manager Vergie O’Garro. Alexis, who is 65 years young, is being managed for type II diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol, among other conditions. She has seen significant improvement in her health because of the comprehensive coordination of her care. Vergie works with her to help her maintain proper diet and exercise as well as how to take her medications appropriately. She says, “When I first came in to the practice, Vergie took the time to really listen to me. She heard me and didn't overwhelm me. She took it one step at a time and that means everything. She and Dr. Small really know me and have helped me get my diabetes under control.”

As part of the coordination of care that has benefited Alexis, she tells me that the convenience has helped make staying on top of her health easier. “I use the GBMC patient portal to get my lab results, which really takes away some of my stress.”

Watch what else Alexis had to say about the care she receives from the team at GBMA’s Texas Station patient-centered medical home in this video:

I also had the privilege to meet with patient Eddie Bostic.  Eddie, age 40, was diagnosed with type II diabetes several years ago with an initial blood sugar level of more than 900. He soon landed in the ED with a blood sugar over 1,000. (He tells me he shouldn't be here, but he's a hard man to kill!). He sees Dr. Nishi Das and Vergie at our GBMA Texas Station primary care practice and says they have worked with him to get his diabetes under control through the use of appropriate medication as well as lifestyle changes such as diet. He has learned to use a Smartphone app to monitor his blood sugar and during his follow up visits, he provides the information from the app to Dr. Das to make sure everything stays in check.

Eddie explains, “They've helped me find a better way to manage my diabetes. I can share information through the GBMC patient portal and know I will always get a response from my doctor, which is very helpful. I feel like I’m talking to friends when I come in for an appointment.”

We had a nice conversation and Eddie ended it by telling me, “GBMC has always been amazing, for me and my family.”

Watch what Eddie had to say about the care he receives and how GBMC is making a difference in his life:

I sincerely thank Alexis and Eddie for sharing their experiences and stories of patient care with me. It’s heartening to hear how our system of care is working for our patients and helping us move toward our vision - To every patient, every time, we will provide the care that we would want for our own loved ones.

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