Virtua Treats Patients Like Clients for Better Outcomes

Joanna Gagis goes on-location to the Virtua Medford Medical Center to learn how a new approach in treating patients more like clients can actually improve the outcomes of the healthcare that is delivered.

10/8/16 #519






"We've all stood in line at the pharmacy awkwardly whispering the prescription that we're there to pick up, hoping that no one around us can hear what we're saying. Well, checking out at a doctors office can often feel the same way. But here at this practice, patients check out with a nurse right in the privacy of their own room. Here at Virtua Medford Medical Center, a patients need for privacy was just one of the factors that let to the redesign of this healthcare center in South Jersey. Dr. Kapoor. Tell us how you first had the idea to reform this medical center here in Medford. It's been an evolution of concept. We've been providing medical care, a certain way, a certain style, for decades. But then you start thinking about concepts.. Form follows function. That you want to design spaces that supports the work being done in our practices for a number of years. So, then I was walking through the mall and I walked into an Apple store. And what a different experience. The moment you walk into an Apple store, you are greeted by a person who helps guide you in the right direction. You still have the ability to go and walk through yourself, but you also have a person who is immediately there to help guide you to the next step. So I said if Apple can do it, why can't we in medicine try something along those lines? Plenty of people walk into an Apple store and don't take that experience and turn it into something meaningful for them self, for their practice, for their customers. What in healthcare in the last few years has changed that is kind of leading us to the path of us saying "let's stop and analyze how we do things and figure out ways to do it better. We're in such a unique place in healthcare right now. Moreso than ever before. Our patients are also consumers. And the right thing to do is to sit down and sit with our patients/ consumers and understand what's going through their mind. Coming to the doctors office is not a big deal for those of us who work here every day but it can be anything but routine for those who are coming to see us. They may be coming in for something a little concerning. Maybe an abnormal xray or an abnormal lab test and they need to sit down and talk about it. So again, how can we help design spaces that allow and foster those conversations in a comfortable area? In a safe environment. In a quiter environment. In that spirit, guests who arrive here are greeted at the door and ushered to their destination to the urgent care center..."