Providing Quality Health for All.
Many of us have heard stories of people waiting months to see a certain doctor, or lab results taking weeks to obtain. For the uninsured or underinsured, these stories are all too familiar. It shouldn’t be this way. To me, quality health care is best defined as getting the right care to the right patient at the right time—every time.
We live in a country that leads the world in biomedical advances and innovation. Data shows the United States spends far more than any other nation, yet numerous studies have found there is no relationship between high spending and care quality. Also, we as a nation are doing a poor job in consistently getting the right care to the right patient at the right time.
The Community Challenge
Recently, a new assessment of community needs identified more than 12,000 uninsured people living in the Price Hill area who struggle to get regular health care. This includes working poor who earn too much to qualify for programs such as Medicaid but too little to afford health insurance. Because they’re in this loophole, they end up waiting three to six months for a health clinic appointment and rely on hospital emergency departments for basic care.
One Solution for Better Access
So how do we meet the challenge of providing quality care for all? In Cincinnati, access to quality care is expanding. One example is the Good Samaritan Free Health Center of Price Hill. This unique center, based on a medical home model, connects volunteer physicians with other health care professionals to provide comprehensive primary care. Patients establish an electronic medical record which is easily accessed to ensure faster, better quality care. Our health care community has made huge strides in developing and implementing quality measures that incorporate scientific evidence and patients’ experiences, whether at clinics or elsewhere. Each step we take is a step closer to providing quality health for all.