Unity Point Clinics are moving to a new way of caring for patients. Two of their clinics in Eastern Iowa are now certified as patient-centered medical homes, including one in Mount Vernon and another on Fourth Avenue in Cedar Rapids. From the outside the patient centered medical homes look like any other clinic. Those with Unity Point say the real difference is in how the staff cares for the patients. Doctors are much more proactive, focusing on preventive care rather than just waiting until the patient gets sick to treat them. They have a nurse coordinator who looks at each patient file before they come in to check out their history and look for gaps in care. So a woman may come in to be treated for a sinus infection, but if it’s been a few years since she’s had a mammogram, the doctor may recommend she set up that appointment while she’s there.
I think what this is going to mean in the future is we’ll see a reduction in health care costs, an improvement in patient care in terms of reducing complications from conditions that could have been prevented by proactive wellness services, said Dr. John Roof, Unity Point Clinic Regional V.P..
As a patient-centered medical home Unity Point also plans to reach out to patients, not just wait for patients to come to them. For example, if someone is overdue for their annual wellness exam the clinic will call the patient to try and set up an appointment. Dr, Roof says patient-centered medical homes are the future of clinical care. Unity Point has three more facilities that are moving to the patient-centered model.
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