3 Ways Alexandria Clinic Is Providing Healthcare Differently
Thoughts from Dr. Deb Dittberner –
Did you know many healthcare providers look to us for advice? When other hospitals and clinics hear about our innovative approach, our measurable results, and our exceptional level of care, they often ask me, “How are you guys accomplishing that?”
What Great Care Looks Like
A few years ago a patient of mine was sick with ovarian cancer. She also had severe anxiety and required a major surgery—after which she struggled through several infections. Despite all of this, she never once had to be admitted to the hospital. Her care team and I were able to treat all of her needs through phone calls and clinic visits, reducing her total cost of care. When she needed us, we got her right in. It’s now almost four years later and our patient is doing very well—but if she needs us again, we’ll be here to help.
How We Do It
There are a few things we do differently at Alexandria Clinic that enable us to provide this level of care to our patients.
1. We’re implementing “care teams”.
Within the next year or so, you won’t have to rely on just one physician to understand your needs. We’re converting our processes so you’ll always have a whole team of professionals on your side—a physician, an RN, a physician’s assistant, etc.— each familiar with your health and ready to help. This transition is still underway, but we’re excited that much of our clinic has already adopted this new model.
2. We add more support when needed.
For patients with very difficult needs, like the one I just described, we assign an RN Care Coordinator to oversee care. This person becomes the personal link between the patient and the clinic, handling smaller issues and pulling in the physician as needed.
3. We start with wellness.
Our primary goal is to keep patients healthy, well, and out of the hospital. As part of this, we do things other clinics don’t, like provide fluoride treatments at Well Child visits. We also lead the state in well visits for Medicare patients—seeing 400 patients a month for preventative care. Most clinics only do a fraction of that, but we find these visits vitally important for preempting possible health concerns, and we’re committed to helping as many patients as possible before they get sick.
When Minnesota introduced the “Health Care Home” initiative, we were one of the first organizations in the state to be certified—because it’s something we strongly believe in. And it’s something we’ve always done for our patients. You are our neighbors and our friends, and we’re committed to being your healthcare partner—the place you go for all of your healthcare needs.
I’m proud to be seen as a model of outstanding care, but I’m most proud that our patients are benefiting.
Dr. Deb Dittberner
Chief Medical Officer