What brought you to
? AccessHealth SC
I started out thinking that I wanted to go to medical school and be a doctor, but after working for a while in a primary care practice, I realized that I might not exactly want to be a doctor. At the same time, I was volunteering at a free medical clinic in
When did you start working with AccessHealth?
I officially started in June of 2008.
Is AccessHealth modeled on any national program?
The medical home model of providing care is a well-known best practice. However, providing statewide technical assistance to help develop medical home networks is limited. Since getting involved, I have learned that I have colleagues in both Virginia and Georgia.
When you talk about “patient-centered care,” what exactly does that mean?
It is a whole shift in the way you think about things. It’s about putting the patient in the center of the circle – the patient is at the center of purpose.
Why does that work better?
If you don’t have health insurance and you see a billboard that says, “Go get screened for colon cancer,” you may not be able to coordinate the resources needed for the screening. If we thought about the patient first, we would have all the backup resources for that patient and a central place for them to call and get access to those resources.
What is the goal?
There are two main categories of goals. One is to change the way that patients and providers use the health care system and make sure they are using health care resources in the most efficient and effective way possible. The second main goal is to improve quality – not just quality of care, but quality of life.
Do you see every county in
eventually having a patient-centered care network? South Carolina
Yes. We would like for every county to be participating.
How will this improve life for low-income, uninsured people in
? South Carolina
For these networks, their whole mission is to help people get care at the right place, at the right time. I heard a statistic that only one-third of the people in our country who have diabetes know they have diabetes. If you can go out there and get that other two-thirds, imagine the impact that you could have on their health.
AccessHealth is still in its infancy. How will we know when or if it’s successful?
We have a very comprehensive evaluation plan. In my mind, when you start a project there are two things you really need to have in mind from day one. The first is an evaluation plan and the other is a sustainability plan. The evaluation plan drives the sustainability plan.
The first thing that we did was create an evaluation committee and they created an evaluation plan. The entire committee put a lot of thought into how to demonstrate the effectiveness of what we are doing. The plan measures process, impact and outcomes for
Lin B. Hollowell III
Director of Health Care