Aurora Partnership Enhances Patient Care
The theme song from the 1980s hit television sitcom Cheers, “Where Everybody Knows Your Name,” became one of the most memorable theme songs of the era. The song’s title was also the show’s tagline, and it captured the essence of the series, which followed the lives of a group of close-knit people who found familiarity and comfort in a place. While Cheers connected with a wide audience and brought smiles to millions of television viewers, its underlying message hints at something that’s also important in health care: the value in being known by name.
At IPC/Senior Care of Colorado (IPC/SCOC), we trust that you will experience the comfort and familiarity in being known personally along each step of your health care process. Beginning in January of 2015, a new partnership between our Aurora Clinic and The Medical Center of Aurora makes such a high quality of care possible. Patients from the Aurora Clinic are now followed by Patient Care Coordinators and hospital physicians, or hospitalists, as they transition into their care at The Medical Center of Aurora.
What does this partnership mean for IPC/SCOC Aurora Clinic patients? If you have already established a relationship with a physician at the Aurora Clinic and then need to be admitted to the hospital, you will literally be a stone’s throw away from the physician who knows your medical history, as The Medical Center of Aurora is across the street from the clinic. Your clinic physician will be able to communicate your medical history to the hospitalist who treats you once you arrive at the hospital, and a IPC/SCOC Patient Care Coordinator will also meet with you while you are in the hospital and help coordinate follow-up care.
While a similar partnership has already been in place at the two other IPC/SCOC clinics, the Swedish Clinic and the Porter Clinic, the addition of the partnership between the Aurora Clinic and The Medical Center of Aurora ensures that patients at all IPC/SCOC locations have opportunities for increased communication, tracking, and follow-up as they move from the clinic to the hospital to a recovery setting. Previously, patients from the Aurora Clinic who were admitted to The Medical Center of Aurora would see hospitalists already there, but now those patients will see hospitalists from the IPC/SCOC team.
Continuum of Care
IPC/SCOC has been committed to serving patients throughout a health care process termed the continuum of care, which recognizes the importance of having a provider team that remains connected with patients at multiple care locations including clinics, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and skilled nursing facilities, among others. IPC/SCOC is committed to providing the same quality of care at any location wherever patients receive their care within the continuum. Patients will also experience the same guiding philosophy and the shared dedication of IPC/SCOC providers who remain in constant communication with one another, patients and families, and their family physicians or specialists.
The addition of an IPC/SCOC hospitalist team at The Medical Center of Aurora makes it possible for patients to remain under the care of an IPC/SCOC provider, which ensures continuity along the continuum of care. “This partnership gives Aurora patients assurance in knowing that their care is in the hands of providers who know their history. But beyond knowing their past, these providers will be with them in the present and into the future,” says Lora Sattler, Director of Business Development. “It can sometimes feel scary to be admitted to the hospital, but this partnership helps ease worries since providers are now members of the same integrated team.”
Dr. Duried Kassab, a hospitalist at The Medical Center of Aurora, is experiencing these benefits first-hand. Even though Dr. Kassab has been a part of the IPC/SCOC acute care team serving the Porter and Swedish locations, he’s excited that the Aurora location now offers the same high level of seamless care offered at the other locations. “There’s a buzz here about this development,” he says. “For me, the best part of this new relationship happens when I see the look of recognition on patients’ faces. Even though they may not have met me before, I sense trust and ease when I let them know I’m their provider’s hospital partner. It’s reassuring for patients to know that I’m a part of the same team and communicating closely with the provider they already know and trust.”
From a hospitalist perspective, Dr. Kassab also recognizes the many other benefits of this partnership between the clinic and medical center. Now patients have access to all of the IPC/SCOC resources that they’re familiar with when they’re in the hospital, and this level of continuity allows providers to follow patients through the same umbrella of service. Ultimately, Dr. Kassab believes that this model will increase patient satisfaction, lower hospital readmission rates, and improve the ease of communication and documentation.
Patient Care Coordinators
In addition to meeting an IPC/SCOC hospitalist once admitted to The Medical Center of Aurora, patients will also meet an IPC/SCOC Patient Care Coordinator. Care Coordinators are responsible exclusively for assisting patients while in the hospital and maintaining open communication between patients, family members, primary care providers, hospitalists, discharge planners, and others involved in care. Their job is to ensure a smooth and personalized transition between settings to increase patient satisfaction and improve the overall hospital experience.
Patient Care Coordinators Caroline Howe and Shannon Evans are now dedicated members of the IPC/SCOC team at The Medical Center of Aurora. Howe has noticed that the new partnership takes stress off of patients when they enter the hospital. “Having a team ready at the hospital when patients arrive makes it possible to have a more personal experience. It’s refreshing to them when they realize that we’re all ready to care for them when they walk in the door. The hospital provider has been informed of the patient’s medical history and can offer the best level of care possible from the moment of hospital admission.”
As Patient Care Coordinators, Howe and Evans remain in communication with patients throughout hospitalization and following hospital discharge. They help arrange follow-up appointments and also often meet with patients on the phone following their hospital stay. In this way, they continue to act as liaisons beyond the hospital to make this important health care transition go smoothly.
Personal and Personalized
The partnership between the IPC/SCOC Aurora Clinic and The Medical Center of Aurora offers patients the opportunity for an ongoing relationship that’s much deeper than even being known on a first-name basis. It provides the framework for care that’s personal as much as it is personalized. And ultimately, this same relationship is present with patients wherever they go, and at whatever location they choose within IPC/SCOC, which is a big reason to relax and say “Cheers.”