Medical Group's Team Approach Makes for a Better Patient Experience
Local Medical Assistant Helps Explain How
According to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the quality of care you receive at your doctor's office is closely related to not only the skill and knowledge of your physician but to the supporting members of the health care team as well. So, what exactly is a health care team, and how does it impact your experience?
Lauren Maurer, medical assistant at Washington Township Medical Foundation (WTMF), provides some insight into how the team approach helps the patients in her office have a better quality experience.
Q. Who are the members of the health care team at WTMF?
A. The health care team is everyone you interact with in the office, from the receptionist to the nurse practitioners and medical assistants to the physicians. And, if you need to see a specialist, they are also closely integrated into the WTMF team.
Q. What does each member of the team do and how does that help me have a better quality experience?
A. The patient experience begins with the receptionist who greets you when you call to make an appointment and helps you schedule your appointment, and also verify your insurance. When you arrive at the office, the receptionist welcomes you and ensures you have completed any necessary forms. The Medical Assistant escorts you to your exam room and takes your vital signs, and is also your first point of contact if you have any follow-up questions or concerns. And, or course, your physician will perform the exam and provide diagnoses and treatment plans. Working as a team, we coordinate your care and try to make you as comfortable as possible throughout the process.
Q. The WTMF team includes a variety of specialists. How does that improve the quality experience for patients?
A. We truly are a team. The primary care physicians and specialists within the group know each other well, so they can communicate easily. If your doctor needs to get information quickly, he or she can call the specialist's cell phone, or call in clinic. It's a true coordination of care.
Q. What if I am a new patient? What does the team do to help me transition?
A. There are several things we do to help new patients.
First, a new patient can get an appointment quickly. Depending on what the need is, an appointment can be made within a couple of days for non-urgent care or within 2 weeks for a physical. We also have same-day, walk-in appointments at our Newark, Nakamura, and Warm Springs clinics as well as our clinic inside the Fremont Walmart. The clinics are a great option for things like a sore throat or ear ache.
Q. What if a new patient has a chronic condition, or already has a diagnosis and is currently taking medication? How is that managed?
A. We absolutely can see patients who already have a diagnosis or who are managing a chronic condition. The doctor will need to do an exam, of course. And if you have medical records from another office that you want to transfer, we'll provide a medical release for you to sign and then we can request the transfer of records directly from your previous physician. This is another area where the team approach can really make a difference. We take on the extra work so that the patient doesn't need to worry about it.
Q. What do you value most about the team approach at WTMF?
A. We truly work as a team and can provide all-inclusive health care services to our patients. Everything is very straightforward and direct, and we're very good about following up with our patients and making sure they are comfortable with what they're supposed to be doing to get better and improve their health.
Q. Why should someone choose WTMF over another health care team?
A. We are committed to the community, and are always striving to do our best. In fact, with the economy being so bad, we have quite a few patients who have lost their insurance - we will still see them and work with them to set up a payment plan. We genuinely care about the health of our patients.
Your health care, your way
For more information about Washington Township Medical Foundation and its more than 60 board-certified physicians with expertise in a broad range of medical specialties - from neurosurgery to pediatrics - visit www.mywtmf.com or call (866) 710-9864.