Bay Clinic Announces Major Clinical Operations Makeover

Patient-centered approach promises more personal and efficient care

Media Release:

Bay Clinic, Inc. announced today that it will be pioneering a new initiative known as the “Patient-Centered Health Care Home” at each of its service sites.  The Patient-Centered Health Care Home is a progressive model of care that emphasizes communication and personal attention to radically improve the patient experience.  Health care homes have been shown to increase access to care, promote higher quality and lower costs, reduce medical errors and improve satisfaction of both patients and their providers.

“Putting this model into practice is both innovative and necessary,” explained Paul Strauss, Bay Clinic CEO. “Gone are the days when a patient of Bay Clinic does not know who his or her provider is. We want to go back to the days of the old style ‘family doctor’ where we have a relationship with each of our patients, and we know them and their extended families.  It’s the personal relationship that people have with their health care provider that helps in the healing and health promotion process, and more importantly, building mutual trust.”

Bay Clinic staff have been assigned “Patient Centered Health Care Teams” that are physician-led and include a nurse practitioner or physician assistant, a nurse, a care coordinator, a patient services representative and a behavioral health specialist.  Each team is collectively responsible for managing the same panel of patients, who in turn benefit from a greater continuity of care.  This structure results in comprehensive, continuous and coordinated care while strengthening the personal relationship between the patient and the team.

The patient-centered home model is a new concept for Hawai’i, but pilot programs across the United States have demonstrated remarkable outcomes for participating organizations.  Patients can expect significant improvements in all aspects of their care, from making appointments to getting referrals for specialists.  Unnecessary visits to the ER are reduced or eliminated altogether.  Electronic medical records and practice management systems aid in streamlining operations, costs are dramatically lowered, health care providers benefit from an improved work environment and patients report better health outcomes and overall satisfaction in their care.

According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, the patient-centered home transforms the health care delivery model from one that focuses not just on disease, but to one that focuses on the individual person’s needs.  “Health care services have historically been oriented toward illness alone,” stated Dr. Fatima Philips, Bay Clinic Medical Director. “The health of a person includes more than just the treatment of disease.  Health is about mind, body and spirit, and involves not just the patient alone but includes the health of one’s family, community, and support systems”.

An emphasis on quality is another priority outlined by Dr. Phillips. “The health care teams are expected to adhere to the most up-to-date and standardized clinical guidelines across the organization to ensure that the care a person receives in Hilo, Kea’au, Pahoa or Na’alehu will be of the highest quality and consistency across providers and locations”.  Physical improvements to clinic waiting areas and front office operations can also be expected.

The Patient Centered Health Care Home is an initiative supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration and will be a part of the Affordable Care Act to ensure efficient, high-quality, low-cost care that is outcome driven, improves population health, engages family and community and reduces health care disparities.

Bay Clinic is a nonprofit federally qualified community health center that started as a grassroots women’s health center in Hilo in 1983 and now provides comprehensive primary medical, dental, and behavioral health care services at seven locations for 18,000 people in East Hawai’i.  Bay Clinic welcomes comments on our services so that we can provide the best care for our community at madams@bayclinic.org.

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