“Do you have a primary care doctor?” is one of the key questions that Patient Advocates ask consumers at our adult services clinic. In doing so, we have found a commonality: consumers frequently utilize ER doctors for their primary care needs.
Luckily, NIH has a partnership with Detroit Community Health Connection (DCHC), a primary care organization that is available at our adult services clinic three days a week. Patient Advocates play an important role in informing people about DCHC and the goal is to increase the number of consumers who regularly see a doctor–not just for an emergency.
For example, a few months ago I asked a consumer if he had a primary care doctor. He told me he didn’t and also mentioned that he had been bit by a dog a couple weeks prior. I told him about DCHC and helped him schedule an appointment that week. He was happy that he was able to get the help he needed. Clearly, asking if consumers have a primary care doctor is the key to gleaning valuable information! What are some other ways Patient Advocates can approach consumers?