Medical commands discuss patient-centered care

| June 30, 2011 | 0 Comments
Dr. Robert Carlisle (center), medical director, Warrior Ohana Medical Home, provides a tour during the PRMC Commander's Conference, June 23. The clinic employs the patient-centered medical home process for patient health care and provides care to active duty family members. (Fred Larson | U.S. Army Office of the Surgeon General)

Dr. Robert Carlisle (center), medical director, Warrior Ohana Medical Home, provides a tour during the PRMC Commander's Conference, June 23. The clinic employs the patient-centered medical home process for patient health care and provides care to active duty family members. (Fred Larson | U.S. Army Office of the Surgeon General)

Nick Spinelli
Tripler Army Medical Center Public Affairs

WAIKIKI — Leaders from various medical commands in Japan, Korea and the entire region gathered, here, to discuss improving primary care in the Pacific.

The Pacific Regional Medical Command held its 2011 Commander’s Conference, here, June 21-24.

“This is our second conference,” said Col. John Smith, chief of staff, PRMC. “This year, we’re focusing on one of the Army surgeon general’s top 10 initiatives, like the patient-driven medical home. And we’re going to really drill into it, so we can all understand it and focus on how we can implement it.”

To that end, the conference included a tour of the new Warrior Ohana Medical Home in Kalaeloa and discussions on team organization, medical management and the culture of trust.

“We have been practicing doctor-centered care, and our patients have become marginalized in the process,” said Dr. Sean Harap, chief, Internal Medicine, Tripler Army Medical Center, “hence the need to re-emphasize, retool and provide patient-centered care.”

Harap said building a culture of trust is crucial to a patient-centered medical home, and trust comes from practicing medicine in a different way.

“It’s a new model of health care delivery that puts the attention back on the patient and the relationship between patient and doctor,” he added. “It allows an integrated medical team to support the primary physician, to help coordinate care throughout treatment.”

During the conference, Fred Larson, special assistant to the U.S. Army Office of the Surgeon General, presented a “Back to Basics” program, which he referred to as a tactical training plan.

“It is a set of behaviors that support affective interpersonal communication,” he explained. “It will help us develop a patient-driven care state.”

The program, which will be rolled out to various commands intermittently, will consist of evaluators coming to the various commands, observing the organizations and providing face-to-face training. Larson already sees changes in patient care that he hopes the program will inspire.

“I heard a lot of wonderful presenters who understand the concept of a patient-centered medical home,” Larson added.

The common underlying theme of each presentation was how patient-centered medical care is needed as the basis for every future endeavor in the Pacific region’s various medical commands.

“This initiative really works as a center of gravity. If we get it right, we’ll have more satisfaction from patients and employees … and ultimately, better trust in Army medicine,” Smith said.

 

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