Innovative Care Team Collaborations
Oliva Welch, PharmD
ONU HealthWise Resident
ONU HealthWise works hard to provide all members of the campus community and surrounding areas of Hardin County, Ohio with access to healthcare services. One of the services we are most proud of is our rural mobile health clinic that allows us to provide preventative health screenings directly to patients in their hometowns. During our patient appointments, we collect the patient’s medical and social history and compile a list of their current medications, before offering a number of screening services: blood sugar, hemoglobin A1c, bone mineral density, dermatologic screening with a skin scope machine, cholesterol, blood pressure and immunizations.
Personally, one of my favorite moments that comes from the mobile clinic is the opportunity to form relationships with the patients that we see. Because many of our patients follow-up with us monthly, we’re able to establish longevity of these relationships and we’re able to see our patient’s lab values improve as time goes on. Nothing brings us more pride than seeing our patient’s health conditions improve, as our team is dedicated to the health and wellness of our patients.
Some of the patients that we serve in Hardin County and neighboring communities may not currently have established care with a primary care physician. In the past, this has led to some challenges when the results of the health screenings indicate that the patient needs to be referred to a physician. Referring our patients to a physician that they have not established care with, may delay their access to therapy. This brings me to one of the many reasons that we’ve been so excited to extend an invitation to Mercy Health St. Rita’s Medical Center’s (SRMC) physician residents to come on board with us. By partnering with Mercy Health SRMC, our patients are granted the opportunity to have a free, physical assessment and physician consultation on our mobile clinic.
Over the past decade, physician-pharmacist collaborative practices have gained traction, and we believe it’s an exciting “next step” for our team to implement this team-based-care model for our patients. Through this multidisciplinary healthcare team approach, I believe both ONU HealthWise and Mercy Health SRMC have had a number of opportunities to learn more about the other professionals’ roles. This has allowed us to gain different perspectives that inspire us to confront questions differently, improve our problem-solving skills and most importantly, minimize the potential for loss of follow up from patients.
ONU HealthWise has always been able to provide exceptional, personal care to our patients and it brings us great joy to share that passion for patient care with our new collaborators.