Personal Story

Impact Feature Issue on Enhancing Quality and Coordination of Health Care for Persons with Chronic Illness and/or Disabilities

Medical Summaries From a Physician’s Perspective


J. Dennis Odell, M.D., is the Medical Home Project Director at the Center for Persons with Disabilities, Utah State University, Logan.

The medical home concept has been a great advance for the provision of care to our patients with chronic medical conditions. We have worked on developing this program for two years in our pediatric clinic that is staffed by eight pediatric health care providers. Our clinic is 70 miles from the main tertiary care center and the medical care summaries that we produce help immensely with improving the communication process among providers. The summaries are especially helpful with emergency room visits or when the primary care physician is unavailable and care is provided by colleagues. Every enrolled child has a specific medical regimen and medical summary readily accessible to anyone who will be making medical decisions. Additionally, there is now a computer network that links many of the private practices in the state as well as hospitals and specialty care providers. Records of medical care provided anywhere in the system can now be accessed at any site.

Although the program may increase our workload in the short run, as we are able to provide more efficient and better quality care everyone benefits, and we are excited about the progress that has been made.