Getting Started and What To Expect
Are you a member of a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH)? Do you have your own designated primary care provider (PCP) and health care team? All IHS ambulatory care facilities are now moving toward this model of care.
If patients only see a doctor when they are already sick or injured, they miss out on important preventive care, which can head off many problems and keep them from becoming more serious. Having a regular physician gives you someone you can contact about routine medical concerns.
Here are a few more reasons why the PCMH model is essential:
- Get routine prescriptions refilled — something you can’t do in the ER or through Urgent Care facilities.
- Receive referrals for routine services or clinics — you can’t do that in the ER or through Urgent Care facilities.
- Get school or employment physicals completed by your regular doctor — you also can’t do that in the ER or through Urgent Care facilities.
Make an appointment to see a provider at an Indian health care facility near you and get started as a PCHM patient. You will be assigned your own provider and care team and become a registered patient in of one of our facilities. Then you can look forward to coming home — to all the benefits of a Patient Centered Medical Home.
What You Can Expect From a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH)
Many primary care facilities in the Indian health system are PCMH. Once you become a member of a primary care clinic that uses the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model of care you can look forward to:
- Being comfortable sharing concerns with the primary care team.
- Asking questions with the care team.
- Developing close communication with the primary care team.
We want to make sure your next care team visit is a satisfying experience and meets your needs and expectations. Here are some tips to help you prepare for success:
- Before the appointment, write down your questions and concerns.
- Bring your medicine to the appointment.
- At the appointment, relax, ask questions and take notes.
- Ask for an interpreter if you or a family member needs one.
- Ask your team to explain the care or treatment plan and put it in writing for you.
- Be sure you schedule a follow-up appointment while you’re there.
- After the appointment, write your next appointment on the family calendar.
Adapted from materials by Hopi Health Care Center, Polacca, AZ.
Primary care in the Indian Health system is moving towards the PCMH model of care. Currently not all primary care facilities have made this transition. Please check with your primary care facility regarding its status.