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How the medical home improves care

Charles Frazier, a college referee, had to have surgery in September 2011 after being injured over the years on the job. “I twisted my ankle a few times too many and my primary care physician Dr. Harvey recommended I see a specialist,” he says. “We finally got to a point where all avenues had been exhausted and surgery was our only option.”

Jennifer Farlow, RN, a registered nurse and health coach with Piedmont Physicians Group, began working with Frazier after his surgery as his health coach. “Mr. Frazier had surgery on his ankle in September of last year, so I was calling to reach out to him and make sure he was doing well, that he didn’t have any questions and that his pain was controlled,” says Farlow. She also ensured he scheduled follow-up appointments.

The Patient’s Active Role in Healthcare

“I met Jennifer about three weeks after my surgery,” says Frazier. “She was part of my follow-up care and asked me how I was managing my pain, if I was taking medications to keep my pain down and how I was doing emotionally.” He adds that her questions made him feel like she was truly concerned about him personally and that they improved his follow-up care. “Mr. Frazier was very positive about me calling him and getting that extra attention to make sure he was doing well, says Farlow. “I was then communicating back to Dr. Harvey, his primary care doctor, that things were going okay.”

Frazier says he formed a bond with Farlow as she worked with him in his post-surgery recovery. “It got to the point where I didn’t really think of her as working with the Piedmont Physicians Group, but rather a friend, part of the family, who just happened to have a lot of information that helped,” says Frazier.

“I think Mr. Frazier is doing a great job overall in his health because he is taking an active role and is very engaged,” says Farlow. “That’s what makes the patient-centered medical home work: the patient plays just as important a role as the doctor and Mr. Frazier has done just that. He is very on top of things, very engaged, proactive about listening to what his physician has to say and following through on that.”

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