Think back to your last doctor’s appointment. There’s a good chance you spent time in a waiting room and analyzed your surroundings, from the lighting to artwork on the walls, to how the front desk staff welcomed patients. You likely remember the time you spent in the exam room waiting for the doctor to come and how welcoming – or not –the room was. You took note of these things because experience matters, even – especially! – in healthcare.
We recently opened our flagship nearsite wellness center, inclusive of a health center, fitness center, and pharmacy. Nearsite wellness centers are part of our integrated access model, bringing care to employees and dependents. They often complement onsite centers, serving as another access point for employees and their families to get care.
Our centers are uniquely designed to enhance the member experience and engage individuals in their health journeys. Every detail, including ambient lighting, air purifying plants, and warm handoffs from the welcome area greeter to the provider, is intentional. From primary care to occupational health, and clinical labs to urgent care needs, the center delivers integrated care to drive improved outcomes and healthy lives.
Health center experience
From the moment a member walks into one of our health centers, the goal is always to ensure their experience is beyond what they would receive anywhere else. A member’s experience in the welcome area sets the tone for the rest of the visit, and this interaction can make or break the overall experience. Engaging a patient from the start is critical, which is why we have a greeter welcome members upon arrival. We also have a self-check-in kiosk which the member can use to check in for their appointment, sign any necessary consent forms, and complete questionnaires about their visit. All data is captured and integrated with the patient’s electronic health record (EHR).
Technology plays an increasingly important role in healthcare. In our nearsite health center welcome area, our health bar encourages the use of technology to support health and wellness goals. A combination of devices, including Fitbit Charge, Apple Watch, and iHealth Track BP Monitor, are all on display and available to promote healthy lifestyles. The devices also integrate into the patient’s electronic health record (EHR) so providers can track progress and support them in their health journey, whether weight loss, glucose monitoring, or training for a marathon.
The transition from welcome area to the exam room is strategically designed. In our health center, the front desk greeter hands the patient off to the provider. This handoff ensures the individual feels comfortable and tended to before even receiving care. There are two distinct areas once a patient leaves the welcome area: on-stage and off-stage. This concept is intentional for a positive member journey, protecting patient privacy, and sheltering members from the behind-the-scenes operations.
On-stage is where members interact with providers in care suites. Each suite has an exam space and provider consultation setting. The consultation area allows the provider to pull up patient labs and data on a screen to review with the member and create an open dialogue.
Our off-stage area is reserved for provider-to-provider interaction. Research shows off-stage communication increases compliance with patient confidentiality, which is imperative in healthcare. Additionally, giving providers their own space enhances collaboration and supports an efficient workflow. In the off-stage area, you may find providers discussing the patient schedule for the day or clinical topics, such as a unique diagnosis. In this collaborative space, there’s even a door to our pharmacy so our pharmacists can easily walk over to our primary care providers and discuss prescribed medications.
Health center services
The focus of our nearsite health centers is on primary care. Studies show that prioritizing primary care delivers greater value to patients, improve outcomes, and lower costs. In our flagship wellness center, we are able to provide the following services for members:
- Primary care
- Women’s health
- Condition management
- Clinical lab: Members can get routine lab work done, including biometric screenings and point of care screenings, such as influenza testing.
- Procedure room: This service allows us to conduct minor surgical procedures to avoid having to make a trip to the emergency room or specialty care facility.
- Wellness suite: Patients can receive massage therapy to enhance recovery and movement.
Our ultimate goal is for members to have a high-quality, positive experience and be empowered to take an active role in their health journeys. The design of our nearsite wellness centers is intentional, from the moment a member walks in the doors through the check-out process.
Stay tuned for the next blog in this series highlighting the integration of evidence-based design principals to enhance the member experience across our health center, fitness center, and pharmacy.
Premise Health is the leading direct healthcare provider offering onsite wellness centers, as well as nearsite and virtual access points. Learn more about nearsite access to care and how it can benefit your teams.