The New Primary Care Trend: Team-Based Care

Across the country, many primary care clinics are changing how they do business. The practice of team-based care is catching on in Indianapolis, too.  Its advocates say the approach is good for patients -- and doctors.  

When a patient calls to schedule a doctor appointment at Eskenazi’s Pecar clinic on North Michigan Road, chief executive physician Dawn Haut says that may not be what the person needs. 

For the last year and a half, the Pecar team- made up of doctors, nurses, mental health and dietary professionals, an attorney and financial advisor - has piloted a new kind of case management conference before the patient ever comes through the door. 

“Because we're prepared for the visit - we know what they're coming in for - everyone knows what their role is - then the doctor just becomes one of a string of people that need to go in and everyone addresses their part of it. That’s where we’re getting stuff done,” Haut said.  

Haut said having all these services available in one spot means patients are getting care they might not otherwise get. She tells the story of diagnosing a teen with depression, and then walking her down the hall to meet the Midtown Mental Health professional.  

“It's immediate so a lot of the stigma of saying, 'Yes, you need to go see a psychologist or a psychiatrist and I'll put the referral in,'" Haut said. "And then they have to go drive somewhere separate for that and go somewhere where there's a big sign that says psychiatrist - you know - that's all gone.”

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