Thursday, July 7, 2011

New model of health care delivery and communications improve patient satisfaction

By Dan Barber, Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital
Public Affairs Officer
Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital

The Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital offers “Medical Home Port” to enrolled patients.

The Medical Home Port model will allow patients enrolled at Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital, to see the same team of providers each time they call or come in for medical appointments. The ultimate goal is to see your personal Primary Care Manager (PCM) as often as possible. However, if they are not available, another provider on the same team will see you.

In addition to providers, the team of healthcare professionals will also be made up of nurses, clerks, and hospital corpsmen that are dedicated to providing their patients with the best possible care. Patients will be able to get to know the rest of the staff as well as they know their provider. According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times newspaper, Four physician groups… the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Physicians and the American Osteopathic Assn. , believe this method of patient care, known as patient-centered medical homes will provide patients with more access to primary care and allow longer appointments.

Medical Home Ports add continuity of care for patients even when the active duty provider deploys. The combination of both civilian and military team members cultivates stability for the teams and patients when military members are transferred or deployed.

The hospital’s Facilities Management Department is in the process of arranging the clinics spaces so team members will all be co-located.

In addition to assigning patients to one of three teams here, Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms has established ‘Naval Hospital 29 Online’ which is powered as a secure messaging program by Relay Health™ contracted through Navy Medicine. Naval Hospital 29 Online is a secure computer based program which provides a more convenient method of communications with the healthcare teams, allowing patients to securely communicate, via e-mail. Naval Hospital 29 Online allows patients to request their lab results; request a medication refill; access health care information and allows them to create their own health care record to help manage their own care, all from the comfort of home. A feature of this new communications concept that should prove very popular, patients will be able to request appointments through the Naval Hospital 29 Online link on the hospital’s web site. The hospital’s Information Management team has been working on this project to make it easy for everyone to use in a secure forum to protect patient to provider communications.

According to the Executive Officer of the hospital, Capt. Cynthia Gantt, “We hope that ideally by using this method of health care delivery and communications we will increase patient satisfaction with the services they receive here at the hospital, and at the same time increase the efficiency of our clinics to allow providers or other team members to have more time with each patient which should lead to healthier and happier patients.”