Team Approach Helps Patients Overcome Barriers to Good Health
When patients go to a hospital for treatment, they bring more with them than their admitting diagnosis and a satchel full of personal items. In a sense, they bring their whole lives, says St. Clair Hospital family practice physician Jared C. Bovalino, D.O. But the realities of health care delivery in 2018 can make it difficult to see a patient in the context of their life, even when the circumstances of that life have everything to do with their illness.
Fortunately for patients at St. Clair Hospital, Dr. Bovalino says there is a team of professionals who are tasked with looking at the big picture. The Care Transition team builds a bridge from hospital to home, smoothing out obstacles and unraveling complications.
Dr. Bovalino, who practices with Preferred Primary Care Physicians (PPC) and is a member of the team, says patients should always be viewed beyond the presenting medical problem. “When we put the larger picture together, we can see the barriers and problems. The medical issue may be easy to treat, but we need to ask, ‘Why does the patient have it? What is going on in her life?’ As an osteopath, I take a holistic approach and get to know the patient’s social history, as well as medical history. When we take this larger view, we can anticipate and prevent future problems.”
Dr. Bovalino says the Care Transitions team uses creative solutions and links to community resources to reduce readmissions and emergency room visits, helping fragile patients manage chronic conditions and remove social barriers to care, ultimately preventing patients from falling through social, medical and financial cracks.