Starting September 1, patients at the Boone County Health Center (BCHC) medical clinics will have the opportunity to confirm their primary care provider (PCP). The PCP is the provider a patient would prefer to see at clinic visits and also the doctor who will attend to their care during hospitalizations.
When a patient selects a PCP, it allows for optimal consistency in medical care, and it is also an important step in moving toward the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model of care at Boone County Health Center. This PCMH will keep the patient at the center of the health system, allowing for better access to quality care.
"The relationship between a patient and their PCP is very special and unique. It should be mutual, in that both parties respect the opinion of each other. It is intended to be positive, and decision-making is meant to be shared…..meaning that a doctor or PA no longer dictates decisions about health care," said Lynette Kramer, M.D. "We hope that patients will take a more active role in deciding what is best for them after all options have been discussed."
"We will ask patients to designate a single PCP. However, our entire medical staff will be working as a team, so that if the PCP is unavailable, a patient will have the option to be seen by any available team member," explained Dr. Kramer.
Patients will only need to confirm their PCP once, by circling the provider's name on a form at their next clinic visit. The provider will also sign the form, confirming the mutual relationship. Moving forward, the PCP will learn about the patient, their family, life situation, health goals, and preferences, as they coordinate care with special attention to the patient as an individual.
Patients will benefit from having a provider who truly knows them and takes care of them throughout short-term illness, long-term chronic disease, and all around well-being. This can be very comforting to patients, because it allows for a single provider to coordinates their care, notify them of test results, and serve as a partner in making the best medical decisions possible.
This is also a wonderful chance for patients to truly feel they know their provider and understand their health situation and options. As BCHC establishes the Patient Centered Medical Home, a team-based model of care which keeps the patient at the center of the health system, having patients select their PCP is a critical next step.