What is a Patient-Centered Practice?

Pacific Rim Headache Center is a patient-centered practice. What this means is that the very focus of our existence is to improve the quality of life of our patients, whom have trusted us with their care. The following is our “contract” with our patient:

We will strive to always be on time.

We realize that our patients’ time is just as important as ours. There could be rare exceptions such as when we must give additional time to a patient in crisis or a patient, who comes from far away and is late, which gets us behind schedule. But typically, we will try and schedule our patients far enough apart to accommodate these circumstances.

The fact that we strive to be on time also means that we may not be able to see a patient who arrives late. This is not for our staff’s convenience but for the sake of our subsequent patients. It is not fair to our patients if we are late because a previous patient was late. However, if the patient is late for an appointment, we will do our best to arrange a substitute appointment that day.

We take our patients’ pain seriously.

We are compassionate and will provide acute care when possible, as a substitute for sitting in the emergency room, sometimes for long and miserable times. We are working on ways to have acute care brought to the patients’ homes (via home health nurses) and offer afterhours acute care. However, since our focus is the patients’ well-being, we will not use medications in any way that could endanger the patient, cause the patient to become narcotic dependent or to cause rebound headaches. It has been well established by research that if narcotics are used more than two days a week, that the headaches invariable get worse over time and become more difficult to treat. Since our goal is that the patient would have a better quality of life, then not over prescribing pain medications is being “patient-centered.”

We will listen to our patients carefully and take what they say seriously.

If a patient voices concerns about medication side effects or other concerns we will modify our care to reflect those concerns.

We will make every effort to be here for the long duration.

Because patients are central to our mission, it is imperative that we remain in business to offer them world-class headache care. So, we have to stay solvent as a business. Medical practices, especially those which work in chronic pain, have a very thin financial margin. We wish we could offer discounted fees or even free care to those in need, but we would cease to exist very quickly. So, for the sake of our patients we must be good business people and expect prompt payment for services rendered.

All medical decisions are made for the patient’s benefit.

This may sound like a no-brainer, however I’ve witnessed in my long career times when providers have done treatments on patients because they earn the provider more money, not because it was the in the best interest of the patient. We promise never to make decisions based on potential business income, but only on what benefits the patients’ quality of life.

Pacific Rim Headache Center is a Refugee from Conflict.

It is crucial for our patients that we create an atmosphere of peace within our clinic. To do this, we will conduct ourselves in a respectful way with our language and attitude. We will give the patient the benefit of the doubt as far as we possibly can. We ask that the patients show our staff the same mutual respect.

Our overall goal with our patients is to create one of the most positive experiences the patient has ever had in a medical practice.

J. Michael Jones, MPAS-C