James Holly's archive

Recently, the Opinion page of the New York Times included a brief description of the problem facing primary care physicians who are confronted by a patient who wants a narcotic pain medication. When I started practicing medicine over 40 years ago, doctors ordered urine drug screens in order to discover patients who were taking street drugs such as marijuana, heroin, etc. Today, urine drug screens are being recommended and/or required to discover patients who are NOT taking their prescription pain medication and other drugs that have a high potential for abuse.

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In the past 17 years, this column has often addressed the importance of hope in the healthcare process. Without hope, personal healthcare improvement will not happen. Increasingly, in the context of a patient-centered medical home model of care, we have realized that while technology and science can treat diseases, neither can produce health.

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From May 1999 to May 2009, SETMA built tools and designed a model of care that laid the foundation of a patient-centered medical home. In June 2015, as SETMA adds the crown of Behavioral Health to our medical home model, we have met the standards of excellence of all organizations which recognize and/or accredit PC-MH.

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This spring and summer mark significant milestones for SETMA and for Carolyn Holly and myself. May 8, 2015, Carolyn and I celebrate the 50th anniversary of our graduation from college. Aug. 1, 2015, SETMA celebrates the 20th anniversary of its founding. And Aug. 7, 2015, my wife and I celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary.

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As our medical home grew, SETMA started a patient-centered council from which we could get feedback about how we can improve our services. As our idea of this project grew, we realized that more than “feedback” on what we had decided to do, we wanted our patients and community to give us guidance on what we should do and/or what they wanted us to do.

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