Treating the Whole Patient

Why the Relationship Between Your Providers Matters

In the current age where experiences are becoming more and more digitized, it can be tricky to determine where our healthcare should fall in that realm. There are many benefits to modern healthcare; electronic patient records that can be easily accessed, text reminders for appointments, online check-ins, etc. What happens though, when the experience becomes so digitized that you lose the “care” part of healthcare? Don’t get me wrong – I do not want to imply that we should return to the times of having to mail new patient forms, or heaven forbid, fax a copy of your insurance card to your office (who even owns a personal fax machine these days?); however, there are countless specialists out there in addition to your primary care physician like neurologist, psychologist, psychiatrist, cardiologist, and of course, physical therapist, among many others. If our specialists are not communicating with each other about their patient’s care, it is a completely missed opportunity to create a truly personal experience for the patient.

How many times have you heard one of your doctors say, “Do you want me to send this information over to any other provider?” You say yes, and then when you see that other provider, you still have to tell your story all over again. At Hulst Jepsen Physical Therapy, we want to work with your care team as exactly that – a TEAM. We firmly believe in treating the whole patient, not just their symptoms. This means collaborating with your other providers to discuss your full health history to ensure we do not overlook potential solutions to your pain. This could include possible lifestyle changes to help improve pain and using all the tools in our toolkit to get you back to doing what you want to do.

We accomplish this in several ways. First, as our Director of Sales, I help grow and maintain the relationships with the providers in our communities by organizing meetings with our clinicians and partners to ensure we are meeting their expectations for treatment when they send patients to us. I love spoiling our referral sources! Next, our therapists will email, call, (yes, even fax), whatever they need to do to get ahold of your providers to make sure we are getting the whole picture of you as a person, not just a patient. Thirdly, we make sure the modalities we use during treatment are approved by BOTH you and your provider (if they ask, some do not). This is pretty simple – if they ask us not to do a certain procedure, we will not do it. If you do not like needles, we will not dry needle. Finally, we understand and recognize our knowledge as physical therapists is not all-encompassing. If you were referred to us by your dentist and once we start treatment we think you may be a good candidate for a splint, we will refer you back to your dentist because they are the splinting experts. Another example would be orthopedic surgery. If you are seeing us for, let’s say, knee pain, and once we start treatment we think you may be a candidate for surgery, we will refer you to a surgeon so you can have that discussion with them.

As a 100% locally owned company, our goal is always to establish great relationships with the other providers in our communities – and with 22 clinics and home care across the Greater Grand Rapids area, that covers A LOT of providers. When you come to our clinics, we want you to feel like more than just a number and that means creating the most customized experience. To schedule an appointment, please visit our website www.hjphysicaltherapy, or call our scheduling line at 616-256-8679. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

Learn More About
the Author

Kellee Donovan, Director of Sales