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Geriatrician advocates for improvements to primary care to meet the needs of older adults
Date:11/2/2010

In an article published in November 3 edition of Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Chad Boult, MD, MPH, MBA, professor of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, calls for key improvements to primary care in order to improve the health of the nation's most costly patientsolder adults with multiple chronic conditions. Boult and his co-author, G. Darryl Wieland, PhD, MPH, research director of Geriatrics Services at Palmetto Health Richland Hospital, Columbia, South Carolina, evaluated studies of new primary care models to determine the best way to improve care and outcomes for the more than 10 million older adults living with four or more chronic conditions.

"Today's primary care physicians are often overwhelmed by the complex needs of patients with multiple chronic health challenges, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis and more," said Boult. "Current medical training often does not prepare physicians to provide the comprehensive support that these patients require. Through our research, we identifed four processes that can improve how we care for these patients, and three models that include these critical processes."

Boult and Wieland reveiwed all peer-reviewed studies of comprehensive primary care models for older adults with multiple conditions published between 1999 and 2010. From this review, they identified four processes that are present in most successful models of primary care for these patients:

  • A comprehensive patient assessment that includes a complete review of all medical, psychosocial, lifestyle and values issues,
  • Creation and implementation of an evidenced-based plan of care that addresses all of the patient's health-related needs,
  • Communication and coordination with all who provide care for the patient, and
  • Promotion of the patient's (and their family caregiver's) engagement in their own health care.


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Contact: Tim Parsons
tmparson@jhsph.edu
410-955-7619
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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