Relationship-Based Care and Improved Health Outcomes

According to an article recently published by the BBC, a study conducted by the University of Exeter has revealed that patients who see the same doctor have lower death rates. The BBC writes that “the benefits applied to visits to GPs and specialists and were seen across different cultures and health systems.” The article also states that “the researchers said continuity of care was important and should be given a higher priority in healthcare planning.”

At Southcentral Foundation, we have been practicing relationship-based care for two decades. Customer-owners choose their own providers and are always free to choose another if they wish to, but most customer-owners stay with the same providers and form strong, long-term relationships. In our experience, these relationships help providers understand customer-owners and the health issues they may be facing, which leads to more effective care. It also builds trust between providers and customer-owners, which helps providers aid customer-owners in making healthier choices in their lives.

SCF supports these relationships at an organizational level, providing training for providers to help them in working in partnership with customer-owners. Core Concepts is one example of trainings offered at SCF, teaching communication skills that are essential for building relationships. SCF offers other trainings in this area as well, such as our ICT Training.

SCF customer-owners have seen improved health outcomes as a result of forming long-term relationships with their providers. Since implementing the Nuka system of relationship-based care, SCF has seen a 40 percent reduction in ER visits for customer-owners, and a 36 percent reduction in hospital stays. Improved communication and trust between providers and customer-owners allows health issues to be addressed earlier, often before they become serious enough to warrant hospitalization. 97 percent of customer-owners are satisfied with the care provided by SCF.

As more information about the benefits of long-term relationships between customers and providers comes to light, SCF is positioned to share our successes and lessons learned in this crucial area of health care. For more information, contact the SCF Learning Institute.