RAPID CITY, SD – The Oyate Health Center is set to introduce a new model of care that will provide expanded comprehensive care services to its patients, greater access to behavioral health, and more walk-in clinic hours.
The Oyate Health Center and the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board are conducting a community needs assessment to determine the health care needs and wants of the Rapid City Native American community. This needs assessment has shown that one of the biggest challenges facing patients is appointment availability. Currently, there is a 6-8 week wait to schedule appointments. This is unacceptable. Additionally, data collected in the community needs assessment shows that there is a want for expanded behavioral health services. Across the healthcare industry, the other primary concern of patients is limiting the amount of time they spend in the waiting room.
The introduction of Integrative Healthcare at the Oyate Health Center will address these issues and provide the best environment for patients to improve their health.
Integrated Healthcare is a Better Model:
Integrated Healthcare is an approach that demands providers work closely together with their patients to provide the best care possible.
This approach to care seeks to blend modern medical practices with “a broader understanding of the nature of illness, healing and wellness”. Instead of treating the symptoms, we will now be addressing the causes of illnesses.
Integrative Healthcare puts the patient as the main-focus and works to address all parts of their health including the physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual and environmental influences that impact their health. What makes this approach work is the sharing of information among team members as they build a comprehensive treatment plan to address the overall health of patients.
Key Principles of integrated medicine (Duke University Integrated Health)
- The patient and practitioner are partners in the healing process.
- All factors that influence health, wellness and disease are taken into consideration.
- The care addresses the whole person
- Providers use all appropriate healing sciences to facilitate the body’s innate healing response.
- Effective interventions that are natural and less invasive whenever possible.
- Because good medicine is based in good science, integrative medicine is inquiry-driven and open to new models of care.
- Alongside the concept of treatment, the broader concepts of health promotion and the prevention of illness are paramount.
- The care is individualized to best address the person’s unique conditions, needs and circumstances.
- Practitioners of integrative medicine exemplify its principles and commit themselves to self-exploration and self-development.
How Will It Work?
The new integrative care model makes multiple care teams available to our relatives. Each team will consist of a medical provider, nurse case manager, pharmacist, behavioral health expert, and lab rep.
Our patients will now have their own team and will meet with its members when they visit our facility. No longer will patients be forced to navigate the building seeking out care. In this model, the team will come to the patient in the privacy of the exam room to provide one-on-one consultation to them. The team will then coordinate with the patient, and care team members, to develop a unique care plan. This eliminates confusion for our patients and allows for a one-stop healthcare experience that will be timely and effective.
Each team will be equipped with an additional medical provider who will absorb walk-in patients who are seeking same-day access. This will help to reduce waiting room times and allow for more patient appointments to be scheduled. It will also provide the best setting for improving the health of our patients.
As walk-ins enter the facility they will immediately be placed in the next opening in the schedule, this could be with the additional provider, or into a time slot where another patient was a no show.
Urgent Care will still be available from 6AM to 12 midnight.
When Do these Improvements Start?
Beginning on January 20, 2020, the Oyate Health Center will change the hours of its operations. Services provided will be available daily from 6 am-12 midnight, the facility will close from 12:00 Midnight to 6:00 AM to accommodate the new innovations at the Oyate Health Center. We are committed to improving the patient experience and expanding comprehensive care to our relatives. A fully functioning walk-in clinic will be available to our patients during our open hours as well as Urgent Care.
From August-November of 2019, the urgent care clinic at the Oyate Health Center saw 5000 patients. Each day the urgent care sees on average 33 patients. From 12 AM to 6 AM the Urgent Care Clinic on average only provides care to 2 people. Despite only seeing 2-patients a night, the facility had been fully staffed with medical providers, nurses, lab and x-ray technicians, security, and housekeeping. This is an inefficient use of the people’s resources. We believe that we could better serve our relatives if we reallocated these resources to the times of day where we have the most people attempting to access care.
Instead of staffing an empty urgent care clinic from midnight to 6 am every single day, we will now use that staff, and providers, to see more of our relatives during the busiest of times. All services that were offered at Urgent Care will continue to be available from 6 am to midnight.
What If You Need Services From Midnight To 6 am?
The Oyate Health Center does not have an Emergency Room. The Emergency Room services at the Sioux San Hospital were revoked by accreditors two years ago while under the management of the Indian Health Service. It was at that time that the Urgent Care model was introduced.
The difference between urgent care and emergency room care is the severity of the health problem. If the condition is life-threatening, go to an emergency room. If the condition is a minor illness or injury, then it can be handled at our walk-in primary clinic that is now available from 6 am to midnight.
If someone is seen at a local emergency room for a service that is not provided at the Oyate Health Center, federal law allows for payment of those services. The Oyate Health Center must be notified within three days of the trip to the emergency room. Elderly patients have 30-days to notify the Oyate Health Center of the visit.