Commonwealth Fund highlights two approaches to patient-centered care

Providing care that is tailored to patients' needs may improve the quality and effectiveness of the health care a practice offers. Two new Commonwealth Fund case studies demonstrate how two very different primary care practices--one in downtown Seattle and one in rural Wisconsin--are delivering patient-centered care in very different ways. The case studies are part of a series of 12 case studies of practice sites that scored highly on patient experience surveys.

Prepared by Dale Shaller and Susan Edgman-Levitan, the case studies feature interviews with physicians and support staff and highlight features that contribute to patient-centered care. The Family Medicine Practice of The Polyclinic in Seattle offers a remodeled office, same-day scheduling, and customer service modeled on the famed Seattle-based department store, Nordstrom. By contrast, The Grant Community Clinic in Cassville, Wisconsin is a small clinic with mostly part-time staff. But those staff members work as a tight-knit team that goes out of its way to meet the needs of its patients, many of whom the staff has known for years. (SOURCE: The Commonwealth Fund alert, http://commonwealthfund.org , August 28, 2008)