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Friday Handoffs

Whenever I think about the work of PCBH, my mind goes to so many examples and this past Friday was, literally, the embodiment of them. Every month, our BHCs gather, as well as some of the members of the individual clinic’s leadership and our senior leadership for our monthly BHC meeting. To begin the meeting, one of our BHCs, Sarah Ortner, leads a discussion about kudos and moments of gratitude. BHC after BHC share moments that they have gratitude for and remind each other of the true value and appreciation they have for them. As our Chief Experience Officer said at the meeting, “this (moment of kudos sharing), is why I wake up early (our meeting does start at 7 AM) because it heals me.” We then transition into what are ways that we are healing ourselves intentionally to do the work of PCBH. We share personal wins, upcoming trips (like, Bridge and me going to Vegas next week for Justin Bieber, don’t hate!), and anything that allows us to keep doing the work of PCBH. The time for this sharing is never capped and always lasts at least 30 minutes, sometimes going close to 45 – 60 minutes. The spirit that is present is palpable and the engagement from the team is humbling.


We then move onto our monthly BHC Award Show, which is a production in and of itself. We acknowledge club members for hitting expectations for visits, handoffs, peer reviews, chart completion, and others. We then give out specific awards that do come with tangible awards (our BHC team usually picks wine… not sure if that is good or not 😊), and are given out for most total visits, most handoffs per clinic, most clinics worked in the month, and then most visits per clinic. We end with the BHC of the Month Award which goes to the BHC who had the best month based on an algorithm we developed related to our metrics. While there is always a lot of laughter, congratulating, and even tears as BHCs sometimes miss club memberships by a single visit (as it did for one of our BHCs this month), we are always quick to point out that these metrics, awards, clubs are never the goal, rather, they are reflections of us moving towards our infinite values, it is the reflection of us doing the work of PCBH. And, for the first time ever on Friday, we had a BHC, Steven Olmer, do a clean sweep of all the awards; meaning, Dr. Olmer completed the most visits, completed the most clinics, saw the most handoffs per clinic, achieved the highest visits per clinic, and won the BHC of the Month. What makes Dr. Olmer’s feat even more impressive is that he has only been in our system for the past five months; nothing short of incredible!


After this engaging meeting, which lasts two hours, as your minds may predict, it is difficult to refocus because, truly, WE ARE JUST EXCITED for the work of PCBH. Thankfully for me, I was able to have some meetings that my energy was easily transferred to, particularly meeting with our residency leadership on how we can continue to shape and grow a culture of love, support, and compassion within our training programs. We ended the meeting with ideas and, most importantly, appreciation for all that are doing the work of PCBH, of medical education, of healthcare.


Then, to end the day, I ran upstairs to my afternoon clinic. Usually Fridays, like many medical clinics, are the more relaxed days. Well, lol, not yesterday, as the 10 medical providers on from 1 – 5 PM initiated and the three BHCs on completed 10 handoffs. The handoffs ranged from depression/anxiety to headaches to behavioral concerns… it was the reflection of the work of PCBH. One of our BHCs, incredibly, completed FIVE HANDOFFS and the three of us seamlessly moved in and out of visits, collaborated with our medical teams, and provided the healing work of PCBH. In the end, 18 BHC visits (10 of which were handoffs) were completed in the four hour stretch. 18 radical and healing moments with patients and a health care system.


You know what is funny about yesterday (maybe not funny), three of those 10 handoffs came in at 4:58, 5:08 and 5:15 PM. Why my mind thinks it is funny is that anyone that has done the work of PCBH knows about the 5 PM Friday handoff that comes in. These handoffs usually include patients that have been waiting a little while to see their PCP and the PCP who is tired after a long week and day of seeing their community in a PC setting. When I approached our one PCP about the handoff request, he threw his hands in the air and said, “oh, god, THANK YOU FOR STILL BEING HERE!” The relief in his face, as well as the patient and their family when I entered the room and did the work of PCBH, was obvious. As I was picking up the after visit summary to give the patient, I looked at my watch, it was 5:40 PM, just then, I looked up and saw one of our other BHCs coming out of an exam room and talking with the PCP about the patient they just saw. I then made my way back to my medical pod and saw one of our other BHCs (an intern) talking with a resident about a kiddo they had both just seen. No one seemed rushed, no one seemed to know that it was approaching 6 PM on a Friday. Instead, everyone seemed immersed in the work of PCBH; the value. And, as we all headed out of the clinic, knowing the work of PCBH had been done, one of the BHCs teams me and the intern, and said, “5 WHOs, I’m OUT! Have a good weekend!”


The work of PCBH is nothing short of rewarding, healing, and awe-inspiring. It is also tiring, draining, and challenging, which is what prompted my mind to reflect on how yesterday reflected, in its entirety, the work of PCBH. My gratitude for the space to share these stories and those that do the work of PCBH… indeed, “I’m OUT!”

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