DPC doctors are asking, “What matters?” And they are finding that this question leads to new, integrative treatment approaches.

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According to Dr. Erika Bliss, healthcare is based on a care delivery model which values “productivity and accuracy, but not creativity and innovation”. 

Its focus is on diagnostics paired with efficient assignment of a solution (read billable services) to the apparent problem. Unfortunately, this model doesn’t often allow physicians time to think holistically about their patients or consider lifestyle as part of the solution. 

Treating the Whole Person

Instead of focusing on one or two narrow avenues of treatment, DPC can take a “big picture” approach by integrating treatments such as prescription medication, acupuncture, chiropractic care, exercise plans, massage therapy, and/or psychological therapy. Using a broader perspective about what constitutes patient all-around health, DPC clinicians are tailoring each patient’s care to his or her unique needs.

DPC clinicians also empower patients to take ownership of their treatment plan. When patients recognize that they have the capacity to be a part of their own recovery, they can team up with their physician to get on the right track to health.

Bringing the HOPE Note and Integrative Thinking Into Your Practice

One valuable tool that DPC clinicians can incorporate into their practices is the HOPE Note, an innovative approach to holistic patient care. 

With the HOPE Note, Dr. Wayne Jonas, a DPC clinician and integrative health expert, focuses on four components of whole-person health:

  • Body & External: Asking questions about the patient’s physical environment
  • Behavior & Lifestyle: Asking about a patient’s eating, sleeping, exercising, stress-management habits 
  • Social & Emotional: Learning about the support, both family and friends, surrounding the patient
  • Spiritual & Mental: Analyzing the patient’s purpose and how it aligns with his or her recovery

Learn more about the HOPE note: http://drwaynejonas.com/resources-old/hope-note/

With regard to specific treatment options, Dr. Jonas advises taking practical steps toward care of the whole patient by:

  • Taking a complete inventory of your patient’s health using the HOPE Note. Reframe questions and goals to address health determinants.
  • Adding simple methods, like ear acupuncture, mind-body, nutrition, safe supplements
  • Incorporating advanced healing technologies, such as HRV Biofeedback, CES devices, behavioral apps, telehealth.
  • Re-designing teams to focus on patient health, not numbers. Consider implementing health coaching, team care, group visits, and shared decisions.

An All-Around Positive Patient Experience

By focusing on the whole person, not just on clinical treatment, DPC doctors are seeing measured success in promoting healthy living. And by viewing patients as people, not numbers, Direct Primary Care transforms patient care and facilitates deeper trust between doctor and patient.