The Baton | James L. Holly, M.D. | Healthcare Blogs Skip to content Skip to navigation

The Baton

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A pictorial representation of the genius of patient-centered medical home

“The Baton” is a pictorial representation of the patient’s “plan of care and the treatment plan,” which is the instrument through which responsibility for a patient’s health care is transferred to the patient. Framed copies hang in the waiting room of SETMA II and will soon hang in all pubic places throughout SETMA’s clinics. A poster copy will be hung in every examination room. The poster declares:


Firmly in the providers hand

--The baton – the care and treatment plan

Must be confidently and securely grasped by the patient,

If change is to make a difference

8,760 hours a year.


The poster illustrates:


1. That the healthcare-team relationship, which exists between the patient and the healthcare provider, is key to the success of the outcome of quality healthcare.

2. That the plan of care and treatment plan, the “baton,” is the engine through which the knowledge and power of the healthcare team is transmitted and sustained.

3. That the means of transfer of the “baton” which has been developed by the healthcare team is a coordinated effort between the provider and the patient.

4. That typically the healthcare provider knows and understands the patient’s healthcare plan of care and the treatment plan, but that without its transfer to the patient, the provider’s knowledge is useless to the patient.

5. That the imperative for the plan – the “baton” – is that it be transferred from the provider to the patient, if change in the life of the patient is going to make a difference in the patient’s health.

6. That this transfer requires that the patient “grasps” the “baton,” i.e., that the patient accepts, receives , understands and comprehends the plan, and that the patient is equipped and empowered to carry out the plan successfully.

7. That the patient knows that of the 8,760 hours in the year, he/she will be responsible for “carrying the baton,” longer and better than any other member of the healthcare team.

The genius and the promise of the Patient-Centered Medical Home is symbolized by the “baton.” Its display will continually remind the provider and will inform the patient, that to be successful, the patient’s care must be coordinated, which must result in coordinated care. In 2011, as we expand the scope of SETMA’s Department of Care Coordination, we know that coordination begins at the points of “transitions of care,” and that the work of the healthcare team – patient and provider – is that together they evaluate, define and execute that care.

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