By Austin Welsh, M.D., Partners in Primary Care
My grandfather was a small-town physician in a time when doctors still made house calls. In his day, the relationship that physicians had with drugstores was a little different. Sure, our patients would still head down there to get a prescription filled, but the center of well-being, the nexus of bedside manner, was still at the bedside, sometimes quite literally.
Over time, though, that’s changed. It’s no longer practical for physicians to make house calls. The center of healthcare became a practice office, while the neighborhood drugstore grew to deliver more than just prescriptions, but daily essentials for health and wellness.
Today, I meet with patients in a Partners in Primary Care center at a Kansas City area Walgreens. It’s one of two full-service medical centers bringing board-certified primary care physicians to trusted neighborhood locations, thanks to a partnership between Humana, Partners in Primary Care, and Walgreens.
Being at a neighborhood location that my patients know and trust means we can have a more intimate and holistic conversation about their health and overall wellness plan. Introducing full-service care close to the homes of my patients enables adherence in their care plans. In many ways, it puts the patient at the center of their overall health journey. In traditional clinical models, a physician might see up to 30 patients in one day and help address a certain condition. With Partners in Primary Care’s model, we see fewer patients, but we’re able to spend more time with them and personalize their care plan, managing the complexity of multiple conditions and addressing social determinants of health.
Industry analysts predict that a care model such as this means that thousands of physicians may one day be working with, and treating patients in convenient clinics like these. From my perspective, though, it means building stronger long-term relationships with patients for years to come.
With a more integrated way of approaching care, Partners in Primary Care and Walgreens stand to help the Kansas City area improve their community health of seniors, while bringing primary care, pharmacy support and resources to trusted, accessible locations.
I may not be making house calls like my grandfather, but as part of this new initiative, I’m helping put the patient back at the center of healthcare. Learn more at youdeservepartners.com.