Family Medicine Clinic emphasizes patient-centered care at LRMC

It has been nearly a year since the Patient Centered Medical Home concept was introduced throughout the Army’s Medical Command European footprint.

The Family Medicine Clinic staff at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center is busy ensuring patients are familiar with PCMH through a reinvigorated marketing campaign.

The Family Medicine Clinic will be placing flyers, posters, informational tri-folds, brochures and other educational materials in waiting areas to educate patients on MEDCOM’s shift from a “health care system” to a “system for health.”

“We don’t want it to just be ‘business as usual,’” said Maj. John Williamson, officer in charge of the Family Medicine Clinic. “We want our patients to understand they are an integral part of the health care team and to become involved in their medical care and preventative health decisions.”

The Family Medicine Clinic is focused on the patient’s total health versus episodic care for the single reason an appointment was made, Williamson said.

The Family Care team’s No. 1 goal is to address current and preventative health needs at every encounter whether face to face or through virtual communication, such as the Relay Health Secure Messaging service available at LRMC. The future of family health care is providing preventative care to assist patients to maintain greater health and lifestyles, Williamson said.

To help make that happen, each patient is assigned a specific Family Care Team consisting of one to two medical technicians, a registered nurse and a Primary Care Provider. Previously, the patient was only aligned with a Primary Care Provider. Current concepts of PCMH will align the patient to a Family Care Team. This concept of operations provides continuity of care for the patient at nearly every FMC appointment.

“This way, the patient sees and gets to know the same medical staff each visit and builds that important trust between the patient and provider team,” Williamson said.

Additionally, the Family Medicine Clinic under PCMH now has a behavioral health provider, a nurse case manager and a clinical pharmacist embedded and integrated into their clinics’ operation.

For example, if a patient comes into the clinic for bronchitis symptoms, and during that visit it is unveiled that he or she is having anxiety and stress issues, the behavioral health provider is just down the hall for a face-to-face visit or consult and can provide assistance either on the spot or via an appointment.

As mentioned earlier, LRMC has incorporated the Secure Messaging Service to improve interaction and care with beneficiaries.

Through secure email messaging, patients can email questions to their Family Care Team about medical issues, concerns or follow-up questions after a visit.

Additionally, the clinic can email lab/test results and send out preventive health reminders such as immunizations and medical screenings to patients.

To sign up for secure messaging, beneficiaries can provide their personal email at the Family Medicine Clinic check-in desk.

The patient will then receive an e-mail invitation to join the service within three business days.

Secure messaging is popular with both beneficiaries and Family Care Teams because of its ease of use and efficient communication. The Family Medicine Clinic requests all patients to sign up for Secure Messaging to increase efficiency of care and to improve and provide timely communication with “your Family Care Team.”
This system is now the standard communication tool for all military services and many civilian medical facilities in the U.S.

“Secure messaging is a win-win for everyone,” said Gregory Milliger, a health care consultant at LRMC.

“Patients can communicate with their care team between scheduled clinic visits without having to go into the clinic. The civilian health care delivery sector adopted this concept about five years ago and it had an immediate impact on how doctors interacted with their patients. Communicating with patients between clinic visits allows doctors to focus on the patient’s health and not just their health care.”

The LRMC Family Medicine Clinic is ready to be the “medical home” for all of our patients. We look forward to providing you and your family the highest quality, patient centered care in Europe. Welcome to your new medical home!