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Health care: Quality ranks high over quantity for patients

Maris Grove medical center puts priority on time, attention

Created date

July 24th, 2012

People who live at Maris Grove, Erickson Living s community in Delaware County, Pa., aren t required to use its medical center or see its staff doctors, but those who do say the benefits are obvious. For starters, the fully functional primary care office couldn t be more convenient it s right on campus and internally connected to all of the apartment homes through climate-controlled indoor corridors. The medical staff includes four full-time physicians two geriatricians and two internists a nurse practitioner, a podiatrist, and a mental health provider. They aim to practice patient-centered preventive medicine, says Practice Manager Michele Davis.

Quality trumps quantity

To that end, Maris Grove s primary care doctors see their patients more than once a year for extended appointments to better monitor health and medications. Electronic medical records can be accessed immediately and emailed or faxed in emergency situations. Patients most appreciate the time and attention they receive from the doctors. An initial appointment is an hour long and follow-ups are always 30 minutes. Non-emergency visits take place within one week. Same-day visits, if warranted, are routinely available. And after-hours calls are returned by the on-call staff doctor within minutes. People have no idea how good we have it here, says Margaret DiFranks. She and her husband use the medical center s primary care physicians. And, if needed, they have access to physicians in 12 sub-specialties including cardiology, endocrinology, and urology, who hold office hours at Maris Grove. A dentist comes twice each week.

The people side of medicine

The DiFranks moved to Maris Grove from New Jersey six years ago and have been very pleased with the service and care they receive at the medical center. The doctors take great care of you, she says. You know there will be an outcome that s good for you. But the office staff is unbelievable. They will try to solve any kind of problem, and they re patient beyond belief. Just going there makes you feel better. Irene Woznicki, who moved from northeast Philadelphia, is equally impressed. They re a terrific staff, she says, so well qualified, so pleasant, and they return your call. It s just more friendly here. The support staff, all certified medical assistants or medical office assistants, represent one component of Maris Grove s comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to health care. Having direct access to specialists, outpatient rehabilitation, social workers, and home support right on campus helps us provide more complete care, says Davis. We have a dedicated, compassionate team in the medical center and at Maris Grove as a whole, she says. That sort of awareness and concern across the spectrum facilitates independent living.