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Lakewood Health System introduces Medical Home Training Package

Lakewood Health System, a comprehensive healthcare facility located in the heart of Minnesota introduces a step-by-step training package for the state-supported health care home model of health care. The package is available for purchase by other clinics and systems looking to build a similar model of care.

Lakewood Health System's health care home, called Medical Home, is a progressive model of comprehensive care that takes an integrated, whole-person approach to health management. The health care home was developed by the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Osteopathic Association and several other primary care organizations. Starting July 1, 2010, state funding for health care home reimbursement will be available in Minnesota.

Medical Home applies old-fashioned, personalized healthcare to today's tools and technology -- marrying the benefits and minimizing the setbacks each offers. In today's world, the possibilities for receiving care are endless, from advanced technologies and facilities to the availability of sub-specialized providers. Patients faced with these choices and accompanying medical advice need guidance in interpretation and decisions. For example, when a patient receives care by a number of specialists, in a number of facilities, using a number of technologies, it is difficult for the patient and even their primary care physician, if they have one, to make the best decisions. At Lakewood Health System, the Medical Home puts the pieces back together through electronic medical records, enhanced communications, evidence-based medical standards and team-based care coordination.

When a patient becomes a part of the Medical Home at Lakewood Health System, he/she has full phone and e-mail access to a his/her physician with the assistance of a registered nurse (care coordinator) who answers questions in a timely fashion, educates, helps schedule appointments (sometimes last-minute) and keeps track of patient history. In turn, the patient also has more "say" in health care decisions and treatments, and becomes more proactive in his/her health. For example, patients are kept up-to-date with written documents itemizing their allergies, medications, diagnoses and preventive care needs. Educational needs are noted and efforts such as a monthly newsletter are used to help educate about the latest healthcare news and views.

Lakewood Health System's Medical Director, Dr. John Halfen began building the Medical Home at Lakewood in 2007. Due to the high number of requests to Lakewood Health System from other practices for guidance, a Medical Home Training Package was developed over the last few months.

The package is available for purchase by calling Kristen Svobodny at (218) 894-8577. Cost of the training package is negotiable per quantities requested and/or if packages are distribution through state and regional non-profit organizations.