Coordinated Patient Care

Meritus Medical Group coordinates health care delivery by bringing multi-specialty groups under one umbrella to enhance communication between primary care physicians and specialists.

Patients don’t always understand medical terminology or lab work results and diagnostic testing, but they do understand the value of coordinated health care. Meritus Health, the largest health care provider in western Maryland, not only includes a hospital, but a group of specialty and primary care practices known as Meritus Medical Group.

“Meritus Medical Group physicians work as a team to provide a continuum of care to patients,” says Brian Stratta, M.D., medical director of practice operations. “Medicine has become fragmented and that has caused issues with patient care. Our primary care physicians and specialists put patients at the center and coordinate their health care every step of the way.”

Bringing multi-specialty groups under one umbrella enhances communication between primary care physicians and specialists. Through the use of electronic health records or EHR, physicians access patient charts and have instant knowledge of patients’ medical history and medications. “With shared data, specialists become more efficient and patients are happier because of the seamless care,” explains Dr. Stratta.

All in the neighborhood

Specialists who were once on the periphery of patient care are now part of the Meritus Medical Group neighborhood. This collaboration of care between primary care physicians and specialists helps decrease utilization of diagnostic testing, prescriptions and hospitalizations and improve quality and access to care.

Care managers, who are new to the team, add a personalized touch to health care delivery. “Providers do a great job on acute care appointments,” says Dr. Stratta. “But what happens in between appointments?”

Meritus Medical Group’s care managers are experienced nurses who guide patients through the matrix of health care. They play an integral role in the coordination and management of patients with chronic conditions such as congestive heart failure, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD. Care managers coordinate patient care plans and ensure goals are met and provide patients with information on community services and programs.

“Today’s approach to health care is preventative medicine,” explains Dr. Stratta. “For patients with chronic conditions, it’s about getting them to their physicians on a regular basis and controlling the disease process.”

Meritus Medical Group physicians understand that patients want a personal relationship with their providers and good communication. Integrating physicians into a medical group sets the stage for improved quality, a better patient experience, continuity of care and disease prevention and disease management.