“At UT Health Austin, we like to say that everything we do is focused on your health,” says Kevin Bozic, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon who treats patients in UT Health Austin’s Musculoskeletal Institute and is a professor in the Dell Medical School, where he serves as the Chair of Surgery and Perioperative Care. “From the way our care teams deliver care in our UT Health Austin clinic to the way our faculty and staff teach students and residents in the Dell Medical School to coordinate the different skills on a care team, everyone here is part of a very personalized care experience that helps our patients achieve their goals.”
The idea of a patient working with a physician and a care team made up of a diverse group of health care professionals with a variety of different skills to achieve a health-related goal may sound a bit unexpected to some people, which, says Dr. Bozic, is what differentiates UT Health Austin.
How can we make you better?
“At UT Health Austin, by focusing on what matters most to you, we become your partners in your health, and you become part of your own care team,” he explains. “The way we always start a visit is by asking our patient, ‘How we can help?’ Often, the first reply will be about a condition. ‘I’ve been told that I have torn cartilage in my knee.’ When we reply, ‘Yes, but how can we help make you better?’, that’s when we usually discover what’s really important in that person’s life. We will find out that the pain a person is experiencing is stopping them from working in their garden, taking a walk with their spouse, riding their bicycle, or playing with their grandchildren. And those will be the places where we will immediately focus our efforts, because they are the aspects of a person’s life that are really important.”
Focusing on patients, not symptoms
By working with each individual patient to create a care plan that will help them achieve the goals they identify as being personally significant to them, UT Health Austin Musculoskeletal Institute care teams offer expert guidance to ensure that patients get the right treatment at the right time. While surgery may be an effective option for certain bone and joint conditions, depending on a person’s age, circumstances, personal preferences and expectations, other options are often more appropriate. Which, Dr. Bozic says, is a critical part of the UT Health Austin approach to care.
“An unique aspect of our approach that patients often notice is that we carefully record and measure their progress throughout their treatment,” he says. “That way, we know if the treatment they are receiving is having an impact on the things that really matter to our patients’: pain, function, and quality of life. That may even be the most significant aspect of our approach to care, because, when you work with your UT Health Austin Musculoskeletal Institute care team, you know that we will be focused on measuring and improving the things that matter most to you—as a patient, and as a person.”