Transcript Module 3.3

Dr. Brown: Okay, Linda. Why don't you go first?

Linda Smith: I've been keeping track of a lot of patient data here in the clinic, and I think we've got some major concerns that need to be addressed. But the problem is we don't have the time or the money to do what's needed. Now, I just simply looked at every chart that came across my desk for a few data items and kept track. Nothing too scientific. But what I discovered is that many kids in this county have never been immunized. And also a lot of kids, mostly blacks, don't have current immunizations or health insurance, even though they'd be eligible for it for state insurance. And many of them have asthma. Now, I've been trying to train parents about asthma, convince them to get their kids immunized, and get them information on the insurance. But I feel like I never leave the office, and I'm still not making a dent in the problem. I need some help.

Dr. Johnson: I've got the same problem. Mr. Gidada wants someone to help teach the Ethiopian community about heart attack risk factors and healthy living. There's no doubt they need it, but I just don't know where to find the time. I've been doing some research myself. Our Ethiopian population has significant percentages of untreated high blood pressure, very high cholesterol, and obesity. Apparently, they believe that the heart regulates the body through heat and they don't need to be too concerned about anything relating to blood.

Dr. Rivera: Okay, then. What are you suggesting?

Linda Smith: Well, I was wondering if we could do some research into patient education. Maybe talk to the health department or the community college in Blueville to see if anybody could help us. If we could get an asthma education program together, maybe we could teach some classes or -- or train others in the community to mentor others in managing their kids asthma.

Dr. Johnson: Exactly. What about talking to a foundation? Or maybe we could get a student intern to help by determining where we should target our efforts.

Dr. Brown: Sounds like it might cost some big bucks.

Linda Smith: Yes. But if you consider all the time that we spend on explaining the same thing over and over, I think it would benefit us in the long run if we did some patient education now. Plus, I bet there are some great materials that are available to us for little or no cost. We just have to find them.

Rose Baker: You know, the hospital might be interested in helping too. They'd probably love to get parents to manage their kids' asthma. And they'd certainly love some help in getting the kids insured.

Dr. Johnson: There's one more thing about costs. I think we're losing patients. I know for sure we're losing a large Ethiopian patient population because we can't provide them with the services that they need. It's a simple problem on the surface. They just need basic training and proper diet, exercise, and heart health. But the problem is, it has to be in their language.

Dr. Brown: All right. Well, since you seem so enthusiastic about this, I think we should take a day away from the office to come up with a good strategic plan for dealing with this. I mean, if we're going to do this, let's do it right.

Linda Smith: All right. Let me write some of this down. First of all, I think we need to get some community leaders into the office and -- leaders, office -- and to see if they can't get the minority communities to --