What does a Personal Health Team Mean to me?
You may have heard the term "patient-centered medical home" in healthcare news recently. The reference comes from a care model where you are the center of your healthcare team and have an ongoing relationship with a provider who leads that team. At Riverside, we call this your "Personal Health Team."
Your Personal Health Team provides and coordinates your total healthcare needs. Your team consists of healthcare professionals, trusted friends or family members (if you wish) and most importantly — you.
What will a Personal Health Team do for me?
- Your Personal Health Team will know you and your family. They will help you manage your total healthcare and will help answer your health-related questions.
- Your team will work with other medical experts. For example, if you need to see a specialist, your team will follow up with your specialist to make sure you get the care you need.
- Using an electronic health record, your team will track your health information.
- Your Personal Health Team will have convenient office hours to help you get an appointment at a time that works for you.
- For after hours care, your Personal Health Team will offer alternatives, i.e., an on-call physician and urgent care referrals.
- Together you and your team will develop a personalized healthcare plan based on mutual goals and the latest medical evidence.
What is my role as a team member?
Be an active team player:
- Talk with your Personal Health Team about your health questions. Share the successes and the challenges you've had with healthcare in the past.
- Tell your team about other healthcare professionals who care for you.
- Tell your team how you feel about the care you are getting from them.
Take care of your health:
- Follow the healthcare plan you and your team have worked out.
- Make sure you understand how to follow the plan.
- Set goals you can reach. Once you begin to see results, you and your team can discuss adding new goals.
Talk openly with your team:
- If you are having trouble following your care plan or if you feel your care plan is not working, tell your team about it. Together you and your team can make changes if needed.
Preparing for your appointment with your Personal Health Team
- It's important to provide timely pertinent health information to the members of your Personal Health Team each time you have an appointment. To make the most of your visit:
- Bring a list of your health questions. Put the questions that are most important to you at the top of the list.
- Bring a list of other healthcare providers you have visited. Write down their names, addresses, phone numbers, and the reasons you visited them.
- Bring all your medicines, in their original containers, to your appointment. Be sure to include prescription, over-the-counter, natural, and herbal medicines and vitamins.
- Bring your insurance card or other insurance information with you to your appointment.
- If you wish, ask a family member or trusted friend to come to your appointment with you.
- Use your list of questions. Ask your most important questions first. Even if you cannot get all of your answers on the first visit, having a list will help you keep track of the answers.
- Talk with your team about what health issue to work on first.
- Be sure you understand what you need to do before you leave the office.
- Use your own words to repeat back the things you've discussed with your team.
- This way, both you and your team will know the information is clearly understood.
The healthcare system can be confusing. Many people visit many doctors and feel lost in the system. Your Personal Health Team will listen to your questions and will help you find your way.