What if leaving your doctor’s office were as fulfilling as jumping out of the pool with your 18th Olympic gold medal? Like an Olympian, you step out the door to the roar of your fans and teammates who have worked alongside you to reach an important milestone in your health. A few weeks ago Michael Phelps experienced that triumph on the Olympic platform and will be forever remembered for his historical achievements in swimming. But outside the pool and the bleachers are pivotal influencers that Phelps put his faith and trust into. His coach, family, and role models were instrumental for Michael’s historical moments.
Imagine the rewards of a healthcare system built on a platform that allowed pivotal influencers to help patients reach meaningful milestones in a collaborative environment. It exists. In recent years, the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model has gained uptake by healthcare institutions and fee-for-outcomes-based Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). Though not a physical home, the model focuses on the coordination of care in an organized, collaborative fashion.
Organizations like the Manhattan’s Physician Group (MPG) have adopted this model, surrounding patients with professionals that play key roles in reaching patients’ goals.
“The medical home model is another change to support superior care,” stated Howard Tepper, MPG Chief Executive Officer. “For example, our sophisticated electronic medical records system allows easy exchange of patient data between our physicians, specialists, labs, pharmacies, and hospitals, thereby fostering communication, eliminating medical errors, and improving patient service.”
Unlike the traditional primary care model, which takes a reactive stance on a patients’ health, the PCMH model promotes proactive care by concentrating on prevention. The table below, constructed by Dr. Daniel Duffy of the School of Community Medicine at the University of Oklahoma, Tulsa, contrasts the characteristics between today’s traditional care model and the patient-centered medical home model.
The collaborative approach of Medical Home care puts the primary care physician at the forefront of decision-making. He or she extends the lendability of specialized physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals as necessary in making decisions for the patient.
But why close the loop on the collaboration there? Why not expand the collaboration and open up dialogs beyond the patient’s room. In my Lilly-COI interview, I discuss my hopes to one day bridge the collaborative healthcare environment with the drug development process. In an open, collaborative, environment, decisions around pharmaceutical research and development would be based on proactive rather than reactive insights.
Michael Phelps might have retired from the Olympic scene, but he continues to inspire others to make it into the Olympic spotlight by sharing his techniques and training secrets. As we open up discussions for all aspects of healthcare, we give patients a better chance of winning a few medals of their own.