Parkville, Maryland--One of the great paradoxes of American medical care is that although it is amongst the best health care in the world, a limited number of doctors means they are not always available at the time that you need them.
According to the most recent survey of Physician Appointment Wait Times and Medicare and Medicaid Acceptance Rates, by Merritt Hawkins, it takes an average of 24 days to schedule a first-time appointment with a physician, a 30 percent increase from 2014, when the average wait time was 18.5 days.
For residents of Oak Crest, an Erickson Living-managed community located in Parkville, Maryland, having a physician-staffed medical center just a few steps from their front door makes accessing health care more convenient than ever, with same-day appointments available as needed.
"One of the benefits of having a medical center on-site is the timeliness of response," said Megan Hawthorne Practice Administrator for Oak Crest. "About ninety percent of our residents use our team for their everyday needs. We do a huge number of same-day appointments. During the pandemic, if a resident experienced any issues, we could even send a provider to their apartment within an hour."
Oak Crest's board-certified full-time physicians are part of Erickson Health Medical Group (EHMG), the largest and most completely integrated health and wellness system in the country. Oak Crest doctors work in concert with other health care and community resource professionals such as physical and occupational therapists, social workers, mental health professionals, nutrition and fitness specialists, as well as several visiting specialists including a cardiologist, audiologist, dermatologist, and a pulmonologist. Blood work, X-rays, and ultrasound are also offered on-site.
Wellness as a way of life
Whether an in-person visit, a telehealth appointment, or a house call, all appointments are scheduled for a full 30 minutes. Even if residents choose to keep their doctors, they can utilize the medical services available at the community through the Care Path program.
"The medical center did play a part in my decision to move to Oak Crest. It is a wonderful feature. Particularly with the pandemic, your doctor can come right to your apartment," said Irid Naver, a retired nurse practitioner and member of the Residents' Advisory Council Health Committee.
An integrated health and wellness approach is just one of the many advantages of moving to an Erickson Living community like Oak Crest, along with world-class amenities, diverse activities, stable and affordable costs, and an unparalleled level of service and security that includes emergency pull cords in all apartments.
"If you have a health issue in your apartment, you just pull the emergency cord and our EMTs are at your door within minutes," says Irid.
Integrated electronic medical records (EMR) help doctors communicate and share information in real-time to make the health system work seamlessly for residents.
"One of the things that Erickson Living does well is the fact that they are so flexible and willing to pivot at any need," says Hawthorne. "For instance, throughout the pandemic, our medical providers have acted proactively, instead of reactively. We have an extremely experienced physician team who can listen to resident feedback and respond immediately."
Residents of Oak Crest also have access to advanced levels of care on-site including assisted living, long-term nursing care, short-term rehabilitation, and memory care.
"Residents and their families find great value and peace of mind in knowing that our full-time doctors, who are among the best in the retirement health care industry, are right on-site and available whenever needed, noted Erickson Living's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Matt Narrett.
"There is no doubt, our integrated health and wellness system is unmatched in the senior living industry and our communities have a culture of wellness where opportunities for healthy living abound."
About Oak Crest: Oak Crest, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 87-acre campus in Parkville, Maryland. The not-for-profit community of more than 2,100 residents and 1,250 employees is governed by its own board of directors, affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of Oak Crest. Additional information can be found at OakCrestCommunity.com.