Getting Better Healthcare: Five Tips


The American healthcare delivery system is changing in response to health reform efforts to try to improve care quality and reduce costs. Many Americans may have heard the term accountable or coordinated care to describe ways that patient care can be improved. But, they may not realize that many healthcare providers are already offering these enhancements to their patients today.

When people imagine the kind of healthcare theyd really like to have, they may be surprised to learn that many of the things on their wish list are already available, said Robert Pearl, M.D., chairman of the board of the Council of Accountable Physician Practices[1] (CAPP). If people know what to look for, and ask the right questions when selecting their healthcare team, they can benefit from innovations like technology that enable the entire team to communicate the full picture of the patients health at all times, access to care any time of the day or night, and the convenience of handling many healthcare communications online.

The Council of Accountable Physician Practices is a coalition of visionary and respected medical group and health systems leaders who believe that physicians, working together, can best guide the way healthcare is delivered, while always keeping the primary focus on the welfare of the patient.

The following tips are offered by CAPP to help guide consumers select and evaluate providers who offer the type of healthcare that leads to better health and a better patient experience. A patient will know they are receiving great healthcare when:

1. Your doctor and medical group actively coordinate the health care services you need.

  • Your healthcare team, including specialists and your primary care doctor, has easy access to your complete medical records.
  • Follow-up care, healthcare education, and other services are easy to arrange through your doctors office.
  • Your hospital care is coordinated with your personal doctor and specialists.
  • You dont have to keep track of medications, test results, or X-rays, because everyone caring for you is informed about who you are, the care you have received, and what you need next.

2. Your doctor works as a partner in maintaining your health by taking a proactive and preventive approach to your healthcare.

  • Your physician and other healthcare providers in the practice listen and make inquiries about your lifestyle to determine what might have an effect on your health.
  • You have easy access to medical advice and guidance 24-hours a day.
  • Health care services, such as x-rays, labs, specialty or education services, are conveniently located nearby.
  • You can access services such as making appointments, getting lab information or health education from your doctors website.

3. There is good teamwork between your primary care doctor, your specialists and your doctors supporting staff.

  • There are other doctors, nurse practitioners or physicians assistants who can step in to care for you when your doctor is not available; they have easy access to your medical records.
  • Your doctor can consult with a community of doctors in the practice about major medical decisions to ensure that all judgments are sound and that all possible treatment options are considered.

4. Your doctor and the medical staff are up to date in clinical knowledge and skills:

  • Your doctor is aware of new treatments and drugs for your condition and can talk knowledgeably with you about them.
  • You are asked for feedback about the care and services you receive.

5. Your doctors practice uses information technologies including electronic medical records that allow your doctor and medical team to:

  • Have correct information about the care they provide to you, including medications and lab results, and the external care you receive, such as in an emergency room.
  • Obtain information about the latest medical advancements in order to deliver the best care to patients.
  • Have access to patient medical records from home or after-hours.

Members of CAPP across the U.S. are committed to delivering care according to these principles, concluded Dr. Pearl. Our goal is that all Americans have access to coordinated healthcare that is convenient and available.

For more information about these five tips and how to benefit from accountable care, visit www.accountablecarechoices.org[2].

About the Council of Accountable Physician Practices:

The Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP), an affiliate of the American Medical Group Association, is a coalition of visionary medical group and health system leaders. We believe that physicians working together, backed by integrated services, systems and data and technology, can best shape and guide the way care is delivered so that the welfare of the patient is always the primary focus. For more information, contact CAPP at www.amga-capp.org[3].


  1. ^ Council of Accountable Physician Practices (cts.businesswire.com)
  2. ^ www.accountablecarechoices.org (cts.businesswire.com)
  3. ^ www.amga-capp.org (cts.businesswire.com)

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