Your primary care physician should be the point person who coordinates care between specialists, physical therapy, counselling and anyone else on your care team. Unfortunately in today's healthcare climate the responsibility of care coordination usually falls on the patient or their family. While patient and family involvement is essential, having an attentive primary care physician makes things much more efficient.
As a patient you should understand why you are being referred to a specialist and you should be in agreement with the decision to do so. The specialist should be able to easily get a hold of your primary care physician to ask any questions and get further information. When more layers of staff get involved in this game of telephone there can be miscommunication, delays, and errors. Any specialist Dr. Bailey refers you to will be given his cell phone number and the ability to reach him after hours.
Good communication and access works in reverse too, when you need follow-up with your primary care physician. Everyone in healthcare acknowledges that timely appointments after seeing a specialist or a hospitalization is essential, but with physician schedules booked out so far it can be hard to get those appointments. The flexibility in Dr. Bailey’s schedule means he can follow-up with you on time and continue to closely monitor your progress.
Ultimately it is you, the patient, who decides who you want on your healthcare team. Your primary care physician should be the center of the team ensuring the right information is shared with the right people. Dr. Bailey is an independent practitioner but he is very involved with the local medical community. He will evaluate your health goals on a personal level and then continually re-evaluate them with your involvement making sure you understand the information and plan along the way.
Dr. Bailey’s patients feel the impact of good care coordination when they experience effective treatment aimed at their personal goals, less redundancy in tests and history taking, and a focus on total health.