A Tale of Two Systems: Standardizing Primary Care Pain Management during the Joining of Two Physician Practice Groups
The physicians group of JPS Health Network and UNT Health Science Center in Tarrant County, Texas are merging under an agreed joint governance plan. The joining will bring together providers from an academic medical center and the county hospital system under a non‐profit umbrella to more efficiently and effectively serve patients and educate future generations of providers. Currently, there is no standardized way chronic pain is managed across clinics from the two systems, and at the primary care level, the lack of a coordinated approach creates a serious gap for patients, especially the large number of indigent or Medicaid/Medicare patients seen by both systems. The overall goal of this project is to standardize and improve upon the way chronic pain is managed in primary care as two health systems, with different ways of treating chronic pain, merge into a single entity. Low back pain, as a significant contributor of chronic pain, will be studied. Primary and secondary measures, including an innovative use of biometric data captured by personal fitness trackers, will demonstrate the effectiveness of a common care pathway, facilitating its adoption and adaptation by othersystems. This project issustainable and scalable, with the necessary commitment from each participating organization to facilitate success.
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