Putting it all together to make it work, the three legged stool

Refreshing to see the recent article by Mara Gordon, “Why I’m Becoming a Primary-Care Doctor.”  Andrew Morris-Singer a medical student interviewed in his last sentence says, “I can help fix this,” regarding the American Health Care system.

I agree and his vision should be commended.  I am rather passionate about this subject, fixing the health care system, because I have been given a glimpse into how to start the process of healing.

The three legged milking stool, why three and not four? For stability on uneven ground. I think most if not all can agree the American Health Care system has been on shaky ground of late, and the three legs in a primary care office consist of a very tech savvy nurse, a user friendly portal system, and using the EHR as an educational tool.

In order to survive, the office has to be extremely efficient without having a negative impact on patient care, and having one very good nurse is key.  Interestingly, by downsizing and using only one partner to manage the EHR, portal, telephone, e-fax, secure messaging, mail, scanner, and schedule has improved efficiency and care tremendously.

The user friendly portal will significantly improve conversing back and forth is much better than voice mail, phone or mail.  In order to excel into the future the portal system has to be part of the office structure for improved workflow but more importantly patients want and benefit having this venue available.

The third leg is where physicians need to take charge and provide a platform and revolutionize how the EHR is being utilized.  At the visit, visually sharing the electronic record to show off the great features contained in the EHR, beautifully managed and organized by your tech savvy nurse who provides critical information via the portal all working in conjunction, not unlike a well orchestrated event is nothing short of magical.

And to be part of this process, day after day to see the effect on the great folks who come to the office is very satisfying.

There are some things we can control but things we cannot, and I thank my lucky stars to have the nurse, technological tools, and insight of a 13 year old to continue doing what I love and I wish the best to Andrew in his bright future.

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