Integrated Memory Care Clinic (IMCC)
Emory Brain Health Center
Started in May 2015, the Integrated Memory Care Clinic (IMCC) is a nationally recognized patient-centered medical home that provides primary care, individualized for people living with dementia—and their families. Whether the patient living with dementia has a cold, needs a vaccine, or exhibits a change in behavior, the Clinic provides care. Dementia and other chronic conditions are managed by nurse practitioners who collaborate with geriatricians, neurologists, and a clinical social worker on the interdisciplinary team.
For each patient, the IMCC team develops an individualized plan of care with treatment recommendations. Patient education, barriers to treatment goals, caregiver and family support, and community resources are all incorporated in the plan. Collaboration with family caregivers is a key component of the Clinic’s work. The IMCC now serves over 400 patients. Its patient satisfaction rating is 97%. In a video on the Center’s website, patients and families affirm the importance of the integrated care provided.
One of the three core values of the Clinic is co-production of care and the Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) exemplifies that. According to Laura Medders, LCSW, the Clinic’s Administrative Manager, “We have had a PFAC for as long as we have had patients. They have been an invaluable part of our clinic’s development.” In the Clinic’s first month of operation, there were four patients—and five family advisors on the PFAC!
Staff learned quickly about the importance of integrating the perspective of families. They wanted patients and families to be aware of the new model of care offered by the IMCC and developed a patient recruitment letter. It was sent to families of Emory’s Cognitive Neurology Clinic—a key source of patients for the new IMCC. Several months later when the Clinic was open, PFAs reviewed the letter and suggested several changes. Subsequently, enrollment of patients at the IMCC doubled!
Carolyn Clevenger, DNP, the IMCC’s Clinical Director and one of the Nurse Practitioners, says, “Anything that is patient-facing goes to our PFAC—top to bottom.” The PFAC has provided input for:
- Clinic logo
- Language for the website and patient brochure
- Welcome packet
- Care plan form
- End-of-visit patient feedback
PFAC members also serve as spokespersons for the IMCC, sharing their own stories, and work with staff to select and design quality improvement projects.
Harry Haisten who joined the PFAC in mid-2016 stresses its importance to patients and their families, “It’s wonderful that people who are truly affected (by dementia) can influence care and programs – and provide valued information!”