Brain & Spine Center Delivers More Care with Less Headache

New center streamlines diagnosis and treatment of neurological issues

If you think of your brain as a computer, then the body’s nervous system is like a network relaying messages back and forth between all parts of the body.

Problems with the body’s nervous system — called neurological disorders — can be complex, often needing several forms of care and treatment. This used to mean that patients had to schedule multiple appointments until they found the doctors who could provide the care they needed. The development of the Southcoast Brain & Spine Center was driven by the current medical director, Matthew Philips, MD. Modeled after integrated practice units developed by leading medical institutions, such as the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic, the Brain & Spine Center takes the run-around out of the diagnosis and treatment of neurological issues. This has been Dr. Philips’ vision since he arrived at Southcoast in 2000.

“An integrated practice unit is a group of people who use their expertise to streamline care, so that the patient can get the absolute best and fastest care,” says Alvin Marcovici, MD, neurosurgeon at Southcoast.

This streamlined process results in physicians better communicating with each other and with patients receiving all of their care at one of the five convenient Brain & Spine Center locations across Southcoast, whether for stroke care, neurodiagnostic services, pain management or physical therapy.

“The complaint from most patients was, ‘I keep getting bounced around!’” says Dr. Marcovici. “With the Southcoast Brain & Spine integrated practice unit, clinicians and clerical staff work together so that the patient sees the right doctor, gets the right test and initiates the right treatment as soon as possible.”

Dr. Marcovici also notes that internal referrals through the Brain & Spine Center are quick and efficient, with intake coordinators taking referrals from a patient’s primary physician and scheduling initial evaluations, and clinicians ordering appropriate testing and treatment. “The ability to ‘connect the docs’ is invaluable and saves precious time for patients,” says Allison Gorski, MD, pain management specialist at Southcoast. “In the long run, this will always be the more convenient and cost-effective way to care for patients.”

Dr. Marcovici believes that integrated care models like the Brain & Spine Center — as well as all of the integrated care across Southcoast — are the way of the future. “When healthcare institutions are going to be paid for results and not procedures, care across the country is going to look like the Brain & Spine Center at Southcoast,” he says. “But, more importantly, patients get the care they need more quickly. I’m proud to say that Southcoast is leading the way to healthcare in the 21st century.”

To learn more, visit Southcoast Brain & Spine Center.