Huntsville physician streamlining the patient experience - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Huntsville physician streamlining the patient experience

(Source: RNN) (Source: RNN)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

A Huntsville doctor's office is using online technology and advanced personnel to enhance the patient experience. And patients say it's working.

"We're looking at new ways we can deliver primary care to our community," said Dr. Brooke Uptagrafft, a family medicine physician at BrookeMD Primary Care.

This sounds like a lofty goal, and it's one that's resonating with patients like Charity Stewart. She said she used to feel like there was a barrier between her and doctors. But that's not the case here.

One part of Uptagrafft's approach is to give more time to the patients rather than just a few moments, according to Stewart. She said the extra time helps them address treatments that are based on her specific needs.

"I feel like she is willing to take the time to get to know me and who I am and what my needs are as a patient," said Stewart.

Uptagrafft's patients can check in on a screen right in the lobby. They can pay their co-pay with that screen and even answer some basic medical inquiries, such as if they need a flu shot.

New patients fill out their forms via the "online patient portal" and there is no need for duplication, according to Uptagrafft.

"Once that preregistration has been completed, then the patients will be notified by our public relations coordinator to fill out their medical history online," Uptagrafft said. "We are streamlining that process so that the information is already in the charts by the time the patient comes in."

She said patients are then assigned to a certified registered nurse practitioner. These nurse practitioners are trained to prescribe medications and manage chronic conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. They can also take care of lower acuity things, such as ear infections.

It's common for a doctor to have offices in several cities and a huge patient load. Uptagrafft described that mode as the old fee-for-service model. She said her office is more of an "outcomes-based model." 

"I oversee three nurse practitioners in our office, and we use a very different collaborative approach than a lot of primary care offices use," she said.

She said those collaborations are done every day.

For more information on BrookeMD Primary Care, click here.

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