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Keywords:

  • chronic care model;
  • senior health;
  • outpatient care

The PeaceHealth Senior Health and Wellness Center (SHWC) provides primary care coordinated by geriatricians and an interdisciplinary office practice team that addresses the multiple needs of geriatric patients. The SHWC is a hospital outpatient clinic operated as a component of an integrated health system and is focused on the care of frail elders with multiple interacting chronic conditions and management of chronic disease in the healthier older population. Based on the Chronic Care Model, the SHWC strives to enhance coordination and continuity along the continuum of care, including outpatient, inpatient, skilled nursing, long-term care, and home care services. During its development, a patient-centered approach was used to identify senior service needs. The model emphasizes team development, integration of evidence-based geriatric care, site-based care coordination, longer appointment times, “high touch” service qualities, utilization of an electronic medical record across care settings, and a prevention/wellness orientation. This collection of services addresses the interrelationships of all senior issues, including nutrition, social support, spiritual support, caregiver support, physical activity, medications, and chronic disease. The SHWC provides access in an environment sensitive to the special needs of seniors, with a staff trained to meet those needs. The SHWC business model attempts to improve access and quality of care to seniors in a mostly noncapitated healthcare setting, while also attempting to remain financially viable.