Who do you picture when you think of visiting your primary care provider? I’d guess most of us key in on our physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant. We refer to these professionals as primary care providers, or PCPs. While it’s true that your PCP is the leader of your medical home care team, she or he is only one of many highly trained team members who must work seamlessly to ensure the level of personalized care that you expect and deserve.
Your Affinity Medical Home has been busy re-engineering your care team with new roles and even new types of providers who work together with you to manage your health. One of our guiding principles is to align roles so that everyone is working at the top of their license or skill set. We want the right people working with you at all times.
Let’s take a look at the members of your health care team:
- Patient! That’s right—YOU are, without a doubt, the single most important member of your health care team. You are the key ingredient in your long-term health and we have positioned you at the center of this dedicated team. You make the biggest difference. Welcome to your team!
- A PCP: Whether your PCP is a physician, a nurse practitioner or a physician assistant, the Affinity Medical Home is designed to optimize your time with your personal primary care provider. Our redesign of primary care involves far better preparation for your visit. You’ll find your PCP better prepared to address your issues and to create a better working relationship with you to manage your health.
- A registered nurse specialist(RN specialist): The RN specialist collaborates with your PCP on disease management, preventive care and wellness coaching. We created this position so you will be working with some of the first RN specialists ever. Your RN specialist might be involved in a part of your preventative or wellness visits—along with your PCP, or you might visit her independently for education, nutrition advice, or management of chronic issues. She is specially trained in all these areas to broaden your access to our team of professionals. And of course, she works under the supervision of your PCP. Your RN specialist is a major difference that sets the Affinity Medical Home apart from the traditional model of primary care.
- A behavioral health coordinator: In many of our medical homes, an experienced, licensed, professional social worker (LCSW) is on board as an integrated member of your health care team. Imagine being able to quickly, quietly and confidentially consult with someone who is trained and understands how to help you and yours through such issues as mood disorders, depression or attention deficit disorder. Our patients and our physicians are raving about the extra dimension of personalized, quality care these professionals bring to the team.
- Health care associates: Health care associates help ensure your time is used efficiently and effectively by taking down information and performing various duties before you see the physician, so that your time with the physician can be spent addressing your health issues and developing a plan of care.
- Patient service representatives: Patient service representatives help schedule appointments and help coordinate other visit needs. They help keep the team up-to-date and informed so that you have a more personalized experience. Like all other members of the team, their roles have been expanded and their responsibilities include accountability to the team and to you.