Continuity of care is priority for health care in Grand County
November 10, 2008
Few relationships are as important to our lives as the one that exists between a medical practitioner and a patient. Fortunately for Grand County, our practitioners have many reasons to stay.
As a patient, we entrust highly sensitive health information to the doctor, nurse practitioner or physician assistant with the expectation of receiving the most precise and appropriate diagnosis and plan of care from the doctor as possible. Simply put, the more information we provide and the more the provider knows, the more effective the quality of care.
This relationship takes time, and once a history is developed with the provider the level of comfort and provider dedication rise. The consistency over time with which a provider can attend to a patient is known as “continuity of care” ” something rural medicine strives for and the hospital and its clinics have achieved in recent history.
Like most rural hospitals and clinics in America, Kremmling Memorial Hospital has the challenge of recruiting and retaining physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Fortunately, the hospital has had a great run of recruiting and holding on to providers lately.
The reasons for the challenge so typical to rural medicine include factors such as increasing malpractice insurance costs, education expenses, salaries and ability to provide adequate physical resources for the practitioner to work in. There is also a wide array of personal reasons that might add to the challenge.
According to a recent study by the American Academy of Family Physicians Policy and Advocacy, “two of the strongest predictors that a physician will choose rural practice are specialty and background: Family physicians are more likely than those with less general training to go into rural practice and physicians with rural backgrounds are more likely to locate in rural areas than those with urban backgrounds.”
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Many physicians see Grand County as a place to gradually retire. This benefits us all as they will likely practice for another 10 years or more. Other providers find Grand County a great place to raise their children and have a high quality of life with outdoor opportunities, great schools and wonderful businesses. Many see the growth potential in the area including increased populations and business as well as the likelihood of more housing, more cultural opportunities and other entertainment.
What is the most important factor in keeping our great providers? Utilizing their services. Yes keeping our doctors busy and happy means that we take advantage of one of our greatest resources ” health care providers.
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