‘Health is Primary’ promotes patient-driven care
FMAhealth comprises the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) plus seven nationwide family medicine organizations, all collaborating since 2013 to support improvements to the U.S. health care system.
The group’s "Health is Primary" initiative supports family medicine values, highlights primary care’s advantages, and encourages patient participation. Each month, FMAhealth focuses on a different aspect of patient life.
With graphics, a calendar and relevant quotes, Family Medicine for America's Health (fmahealth.org) strove to increase patient interest in December by emphasizing the value of open communication with their practitioners, particularly primary care teams. Based on the premise that patient accountability can drive engagement, the campaign also stresses the value of nurturing the patient-physician relationship and suggests that higher commitment levels will in turn positively influence patient compliance with regular health routines and adherence to appointments and instructions.
Dr. Gregg Stefanek of Gratiot Family Practice in Alma, Michigan considers rapport a powerful tool and patients’ comfort of utmost importance. Also recommending humor to ease qualms about health discussions, his practice avoids labeling fearful consumers as “noncompliant."
Stefanek described how the playing field is leveling; focusing on patient responsibility takes the traditional bulk of the care burden off of doctors, hopefully changing medical culture for the better.
"I tell all of my patients that it's not my job to keep them healthy," he said. "It's their responsibility with [our] support.”
Organizations in this story
American Academy of Family Physicians 11400 Tomahawk Creek Pkwy Leawood, KS 66211