While individual physicians, departments and medical centers have previously implemented various programs to address patient care needs, of course, Kanter sees a difference in his staff does by, again, closing those "preventative and chronic care gaps."
Closing the "care gaps" – isn't that what every physician wants to do? Kanter agrees. In "most physician offices, they do not have complete access to all the relevant information about a patient," he says
In many instances, a primary care doctor would refer a patient to a dermatologist, but that dermatologist would not know, for instance, she needed a mammogram, Kanter says. Under the proactive encounter, "each patient contact presents an opportunity to remind the patient that she needs a mammogram," Kanter says.
"The idea is to get patients the tests and/or other preventative measures they need regardless of where they enter the Kaiser Permanente health system," Kanter adds.
Overall, patients have been receptive and have not felt the added information would be intrusive, he says.
"Patients are particularly impressed when they visit a physician or other provider who is not their primary care physician and are offered a flu shot, or a mammogram" Kanter says. "They might expect their primary care physician to have that information, but are particularly grateful when they get reminders from receptionists and others in specialists' offices. They are impressed to see how much information their primary care doctor or specialist has at his or her fingertips."