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Patient-centered primary care improves health for 2-year-old boy



Jonathan Ervin

Dec. 12, 2012  (Beaverton) — Rachel Ervin doesn't know how she could keep up with all the medical appointments her son Jonathan needs, if she wasn't in a patient-centered primary care home.

Jonathan, 2, has Noonan's syndrome, a genetic disorder that prevents normal development in various parts of the body. He needs a fleet of specialists, including an endocrinologist, gastroenterologist, urologist, cardiologist, orthopedist, ophthalmologist and physical therapist. It helps that he's been a patient for a little more than a year at Metropolitan Pediatrics in Beaverton, which is a recognized by the state as a Patient-Centered Primary Care Home, which provides a coordinated team approach that focuses on the patient.

"All of our doctors know everything going on with Jonathan."
~ Rachel Ervin

"Without the care and coordination we get from Jonathan's health care team and especially with Amy, his case manager, it would get very confusing. There are so many specialists I have trouble remembering all the doctors' names sometimes. All of our doctors know everything going on with Jonathan," says Ervin, a single mother who is going fulltime to college. She is divorced from Jonathan's father, who provides health insurance for Jonathan.

Amy is Amy Smith, R.N., case manager. She helps Rachel coordinate Jonathan's care. She sets up the many appointments and arranges for the medical tests. She calls to remind Rachel of each appointment and makes sure the Ervins can get to their doctor appointments. Smith finds resources such as transportation and respite care for Rachel and Jonathan when needed. Smith provides this type of help for about 100 Metropolitan Pediatrics patients who also have multiple health issues.

This type of patient-focused care is paying off for Jonathan.

Since he has been part of a patient-centered primary care home at Metropolitan Pediatrics, he no longer has frequent bouts of pneumonia. He's been healthier because his care is coordinated among the many specialists he needs, said Rachel.

Smith agrees that Jonathan's health is improving: "He looks better and better each time I see him."

Learn more and find out if there is a patient-centered primary care home in your area.