Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Psychiatrist Takes Less-Traveled Route to Integrated Care

Lori Raney, M.D., of Dolores, Colo., advocates integrating psychiatry with primary care, just like many of her psychiatrist colleagues do. Working closely with a social worker and a psychologist, Raney offers support and consultation to the primary care clinicians at a federally qualified health center in southwest Colorado.

That's the traditional model of integrated care: moving the psychiatrist into the primary care clinic. However, at the same time, Raney approaches integration from the other direction. At the Cortez Integrated Health Center, she designed a facility for people with serious mental illness that also addresses their general medical needs. In addition to “consultation and education” rooms for psychiatric care, the facility has rooms for basic physical exams. “We’re open to everyone in the community for primary care,” Raney said at APA’s Institute on Psychiatric Services in New York. Every patient gets screened for factors such as cholesterol level, high blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking, as well as for psychiatric illnesses.

“It makes me feel like a more-well-rounded physician,” said Raney. “We psychiatrists are the only ones in the room trained in both worlds.”

To read more about integrated care, see Psychiatric News here.

(Image: Lori Raney, M.D.)


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