Team Rainier: Building the Medical Practice of the Future for YOU.

The Covid Pandemic brought about many changes in how you visited your doctor, perhaps some of them were welcome, and some not so much. Many people appreciated the convenience of virtual visits for a while, but then realized they are not a complete substitute for in person visits. There may have been additional wait times for certain services and less reliability once appointments were made. These things may have contributed to the nationwide phenomenon of individuals taking more charge over their own health, as people had fewer doctor visits. You may have felt an increased motivation to act proactively in regards to your health so that you are in a better position to avoid the need for more healthcare and to have a healthy body more resilient should an accident or illness should occur and feel less reliant on the healthcare system. We all learned that some of the things we took for granted are not a “sure thing” and not always reversible. So, what does the future of your healthcare look like? Many of us were less than completely satisfied with healthcare before the pandemic, so what would you ask for if you could design the way you got your own healthcare? With Rainier Medical, instead of the status quo, I am striving to make a better resource for you. 3

As a physician, I have been trained that the way in which healthcare is delivered has a large impact on health outcomes. You may have left a doctor’s office without being seen because the wait was too long. You may have gone to Urgent Care because you could not get an appointment with your usual doctor. You may have not filled a prescription or gotten a test done because you did not believe in its value, and you may have avoided some routine or recommended care you wanted because of some other barrier. If you have seen me lately, you likely have noticed that my new practice model is somewhat atypical. Please allow me to share my vision for the medical practice of the future that I am working towards.

Focus on Maintaining Wellness

Which would you prefer, a doctor that guided you on preventing illness, or one that mostly focused on treating disease once it occurred? Assuming you can get your routine population based preventive care (mammograms, colonoscopies, pap tests, immunizations) with little active involvement from your physician, I am talking about the individualized next level care you receive, based on your personal health statistics, family history, and health characteristics. Of course, there will always be acute illnesses and injuries that require quality care, but chronic disease is what places the highest burden on people. In my practice, the focus is on preventing health complications, chronic disease, and reducing the need for healthcare for each individual. I am stopping medications more often than starting them. When you need less of me, my job is well-done. This is the difference between being in the practice of health, and not healthcare, and working for you, not a healthcare system.

Engaging During the other 99.99% of the time

If you see your physician for a 45 minute long annual physical once a year, that is less than 0.009% of your year. Even the best guidance, with that small of a fraction of the whole, may be less impactful than you expect for your physician. I believe the most impact can be had by providing guidance, support, healthcare, or expertise at the time that it is needed. How can this be done in a quality and practical manner? Experts opine that utilizing wearable health technology which communicates with your physician is the future. As a physician, I would prefer to make recommendations based on more data and interaction, rather than less. In my practice, we offer a HIPPA compliant, individualized app that relays body weight, blood pressure, blood glucose, wearable health tracker data, and can also convey a food log, a journal, individualized messages, and a subjective Color My Day tool that tells me your perspective on how your health is going. In that way, we can work together on an ongoing basis and be flexible as circumstances fluctuate in your life using as many or as few of these features as needed.

Have a quick question? Message me on our app and I will likely reply myself shortly. No need to wait through a phone tree and leave a message and monitor your phone for a callback. You choose how to communicate.

Especially with managing body weight, studies show that sporadic care does not achieve the desired health outcomes and that the ability to engage and have a relationship with a trusted guide is pivotal over the long term.

Actively Engaging with You

Experts also recognize that individuals need full transparency when it comes to their healthcare and to be actively engaged in joint medical decision making. This is why your chart notes are immediately available for you to view. Why should your doctor and specialists be reading notes about you that you have to jump through hoops to view? I encourage review for the need for any additions, clarifications, or corrections. Then, you are on the same page to make joint decisions. My job is to act as your expert consultant and guide, understand your values and priorities, and use my training and experience to apply those to critically evaluate the risks, benefits and alternatives to your healthcare options. When it comes to treating overweight/obesity, this means each individual’s approach varies, including goal weight, nutrition pan, exercise plan, medication use, and diagnostic tests.

Elimination of the Waiting Room

Why wait? Unless there is some unforeseen medical issue that has arisen, my expectation is little to no waiting. There is no receptionist because I am usually waiting for you when you arrive. Or, there is just enough time for you to get your body composition and place your food order on the website and then it is your turn. Of course, if you are having a virtual visit, you choose your location!

Elimination of People between Myself and You

In past practices, there are generally 2-3 people whose job it was to basically make sure I spent as little time as possible with each patient, so I could see more in a day. A patient access representative may have been in charge of scheduling the appointment, including how far away the appointment would be, the length of time, and the type. They may then choose the correct form for you to complete to prepare for the appointment. Then, a medical assistant would take you back, write some notes, complete medication verifications, pend refills, and check your vitals. All of this generally takes about 12 minutes. By the time I came in the room, like the telephone game, what you told the medical assistant was the reason for the visit may have been communicated differently, the pharmacy may have been set up wrong with the wrong number of tabs and refills, and your blood pressure may be high because you know that 12 of your allotted 20 minutes has already passed. I may come in and it may take the next 3 minutes to rephrase or say again what you felt like you had already told 2 other people. In my current practice, there is no one between myself and you. I work for you, and no one else. I greet you, take your blood pressure, and you only have to tell your story once. More importantly, I get to hear you tell your story, not read it in a computer or hear it through someone else. Most of communication is non verbal, and taking a medical history is a trained skill. I do not believe that it can be delegated with the same outcome. So far, I have been more on time than ever before!

I believe that working together directly with YOU when you need it, how you need it, and just before you need it, makes the most impact. To this end, we are now offering Ask Your Doctor on Multicare MyChart, at home body composition scales, blood pressure monitors, and blood glucose monitors which sync with our practice app. If you are interested in our weight management of Concierge Primary care services, contact us here. If you are already a part of Rainier Medical, THANK YOU, and help me help you by completing your Color My Day and data portions of your app profile and linking your devices. Thank you to everyone who has been patient and gracious. Managing change can be a challenge! But, I think it is worth it. Together, we can do it!

Take Back Your Healthcare,

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