For generations, going into private medical practice has typically meant working alone or with a small handful of other physicians. This model offers patients a strong personal connection to the physician and a more intimate setting than a large health organization. However, it often forces patients to bounce around from one specialist to another, resulting in a loss of continuity of care.
The physicians of Rio Grande Urology founded their practice in 2008 based on the belief that there is a better way to serve El Paso and Las Cruces patients. Under the leadership of, Jeffrey M. Spier, M.D.Managing Partner, a vision for a multidisciplinary practice where physicians collaborate has emerged.
“That’s the future of medicine,” explains Dr. Spier. “To have integrated practices where the patient gets continuity of care and does not get five CT scans from five different doctors.”
A Vision for Growth
Urology is well suited as a starting point for this model of collaborative care. The Large Urology Group Practice Association (LUGPA) has already developed protocols for patient care and outcomes. One of these is to create a practice where subspecialties can meet specific needs.
“It’s always patient first,” explains Dr. Spier. “Then it’s trying to figure out how we can focus on the patient and subspecialize in the group. So we can do things and do things well.”
Dr. Spier envisions one Physician Champion within each specialized area and an in-office pharmacy for the convenience of the patients.The RGU Cancer Center will provide comprehensive services including doctor visits, CTs, radiation, and eventually chemotherapy, all in one location.
Quality Patient Care, Well Organized, Makes Sense
The goal is for patients to get the care they deserve. When physicians can collaborate and offer multiple services under one roof, it is really the patient who gets the benefit.
“For example, CT scans and ultrasounds can all be done inhouse,” Dr. Spier explains. “If I have a patient that comes in with a kidney stone, they don’t have to schedule a CT scan at a hospital and come back a week or more later. They get it done right here and come back to see me 30 minutes later.”
There is a personal touch when one physician can walk a patient over to another specialty and introduce a new doctor in person. In addition to the practical advantages of convenience and efficiency, these intangible benefits are what drive Dr. Spier’s patient care vision.
Collaboration is Key
“While hospitals will continue to provide services for our patients and access for our doctors,” says Dr. Spier, “the goal is that patients do not feel like they are on a conveyor belt of care.”
Collaboration with hospitals as needed and other specialities will provide patients with the best care possible. within the group another goal is to have physician champions for specialized areas such as robotic surgery, stone care, incontinence, and male infertility. Collaboration of services and a team approach will give patients a more personalized experience as well as excellent care.
Strong Leadership into the Future
RGU has continued to grow and now has a total staff of over 130 employees, including a strong administrative team. I’ve learned is that physician involvement and engagement on the administrative side is critical to growth, along with the support of your fellow partners,” says Dr. Spier. “We have a strong tightknit group who believe in the vision of what we want to do here for the future.”
“I am enjoying this opportunity to have a leadership role but I couldn’t have done this without my partners and administrative team,” he continues. “We have come a long way as a group.”
It all starts with quality care and quality physicians and RGU has that foundation. “We care about the community. I am very lucky to have a great group of physician partners,providers, administrators and staff all of whom share my vision to provide quality care throughout west Texas and southern New Mexico.