Emerald Physicians: 40,000 patients and counting
Emerald Physicians and its innovative approach to primary care continues to grow. The physician practice group has expanded to Sandwich, extending its reach throughout the Upper Cape, following the opening last summer of two offices in Falmouth and one in Bourne.
A wholly-owned subsidiary of Cape Cod Healthcare, Emerald Physicians now has 14 locations as far east as Brewster.
Emerald serves more than 40,000 patients and is staffed by 25 physicians, plus an equal number of nurse practitioners and physician assistants – most of whom are organized as teams, or pods.
Led by a doctor, the care team also includes a scheduling coordinator and office receptionist. Each patient is assigned to their doctor’s pod for sustainable care, not only during visits but also by phone, when between office visits, and a patient portal that provides secure access to medical records, appointment schedules, prescriptions and ongoing educational information.
Additionally, patients have access to their pod care team via direct phone numbers, and are able to call their nurse, make an appointment, and more.
This spring, Emerald Physicians will open its 15th and largest office – an 8,000 square-foot flagship location with 20 exam rooms in Yarmouth, said Julie Badot, Emerald’s director of special projects.
“It has been founder and Medical Director Dr. Cormac Coyle’s vision to have an Emerald Physicians in every neighborhood on the Cape for even greater access to high-quality primary care” ” she said.
That presence extends beyond medical offices to active engagement in the Cape’s communities – including participation in more than three dozen nonprofit organizations.
Emerald Physicians’ newest office in Sandwich is at 90 Route 6A in the Sextant Hill Office Park. Its team is led by Munir Ahmed, MD, who previously was a hospitalist at Cape Cod Healthcare and also had a practice in town.
“Dr. Ahmed lives in Sandwich, and with this move, he will be close to his original patients here and in Falmouth from his previous practices,” said Badot. “Sandwich was definitely one town where we wanted to establish deeper roots. It’s a geographically large and a very vibrant community.”
Opened on November 16 last year, the Sandwich location was renovated to accommodate the practice’s pod philosophy. Each room is equipped with wall-mounted, swiveling computer monitors as team members engage with their patients while recording vital information and medical histories prior to the doctor’s arrival, and also to further patient education with visual learning examples.
When the doctor arrives, a nurse briefs him or her in front of the patient, encouraging instant interactivity that often includes use of a communications board.
“From the height and weight stations to the communications boards and computers, everything in the exam room is placed ergonomically around the patient,” said Badot.
This pod philosophy and its commitment to continuous education for the patient is at the heart of Emerald Physicians’ merger two years ago with Cape Cod Healthcare.
At that time Cape Cod Healthcare’s President CEO Mike Lauf called the partnership “an investment in the people of Cape Cod,” adding that, “we know the future in the post-reform era of healthcare is about integration between physicians and hospitals, and this creates an opportunity to bring a more seamless model of care for patients.”
Teaching patients about how to take ownership of their healthcare is at the heart of Emerald Physicians philosophy, said Dr. Coyle.
“We believe in educating our patients about their responsibilities for their own care and also informing them of best practices, so they may stay healthy. We believe that ultimately all patients at Emerald will be empowered to be their own advocates in all matters related to their health.”