I am a Family Medicine physician practicing in Groton, MA, affiliated with Steward Nashoba Valley Medical Center. I joined Steward Medical Group in August of 2012 after spending four years in the US Air Force. I grew up in Massachusetts and did most of my training in New England. It was important to me to practice in an area with world class health care and to raise my children in a safe and family-friendly area.
While in the Air Force, both the patients and the physicians were continually moving due to transfers and deployments. Because of this, it was an incredible challenge to communicate with the civilian specialists to whom I referred my patients. I felt the care of my patients was fractionated as I often had an incomplete picture of their health. Much of my time was spent tracking down documents and trying to establish a relationship with the colleagues caring for my patients.
When I was preparing to separate from the military, I specifically searched out a hospital system that had a well-established network of physicians, as well as one that encouraged our patients to stay within this network. There is an abundance of incredible health care options available in Massachusetts. However, trying to coordinate care when patients are being seen in different systems leads to duplication of efforts, the potential for missed follow up opportunities and patient dissatisfaction. Steward has an extensive network of specialists and subspecialists, many of whom travel regularly from St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center to our hospital. We really offer “world class health care where you live.”
Another tenant that our organization embodies is quality health care to all. Steward has been providing “the New Healthcare” for years and we are strongly prepared for Medicare’s Payment Reform. We have been focused on offering quality health care to all patients both through education of our physicians and staff as well as resources integrated in our EMR. An important aspect of my positive work-life balance is our EMR, Athenahealth. Our Steward IT department has worked extensively with me to streamline issues the program had in its interface with the hospital-based Meditech, as well as suggestions to improve the program itself. Being able to log in quickly and from any location as well as setting up templates that are relevant to my practice helps me to keep up on my workload.
I have been very pleased with the accessibility of the leadership in Steward as well as how responsive they have been to the suggestions or needs I have raised. I feel that I have a lot of input into how my practice is managed and I feel that my voice has been heard.