Collaborative Healthcare Benefits Patients and Providers
Bernard Lenchitz, MD, FACP, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine/Academic Health Center and UC Physicians, has worked with UC Health for more than 30 years.
Photo provided by UC Health
Dr. Lenchitz became a primary care physician (PCP) after realizing he wanted to treat patients more comprehensively and develop closer doctor-patient relationships.
“I have relationships with a large number of families across generations,” says Dr. Lenchitz. “I get to know these people very well and it’s incredibly satisfying to make an impact on their health over time.”
Eliminating biases and understanding patients’ backgrounds are integral components to providing excellent primary care, according to Dr. Lenchitz. “It comes down to my patients’ values: religious, cultural, social and environmental. The most important thing is to understand that you can’t force a patient to do anything they’re not willing or able to do.”
He explains a patient is not a checklist waiting to be ticked off; each person has any number of stressors or responsibilities that are brought into the exam room: a job, children, financial difficulties, etc.
Before joining UC Health Primary Care, Dr. Lenchitz worked in community health for 23 years serving impoverished, underserved citizens in our community. Those experiences made him passionate to emphasize the importance of ongoing care for patients most in need.
“There’s an imbalance in the health system and many patients don’t have the means or the opportunity to receive regular care from a PCP,” says Dr. Lenchitz. In order to bridge the gap, Cincinnati continues to make strides in improving the quality of care and patient satisfaction.
UC Health utilizes an online patient portal called My UC Health where patients can schedule appointments, request prescription refills, review their health history and more, all from the convenience of a computer connection. Dr. Lenchitz ensures his patients have a solid understanding of how to navigate the site during their appointment – the electronic information infrastructure helps the doctor-patient relationship.
Another facet of Cincinnati’s progressive attitude toward healthcare is through the website www.YourHealthMatters.org. “Cincinnati doctors all contribute to that platform and patients can compare their PCP to other doctors in the community,” says Dr. Lenchitz. Features include comparing quality ratings, a resource library, updated healthcare news and more.
In addition to online resources, Dr. Lenchitz notes that traditional office hours often leave patients without adequate access to care when they need it. UC Health collaborates with Little Clinic locations inside Greater Cincinnati and Dayton-area Kroger stores. This partnership creates an opportunity for patients to receive care on evenings and weekends, while primary care providers can still maintain important patient history.
Aside from his personal practice, Dr. Lenchitz imparts his patient-centric wisdom to UC medical students and residents at all levels of training. He has received several awards and honors for his contributions to education from the departments of Family Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology, as well as directly from the College of Medicine.
Healthcare is complex, but Dr. Lenchitz views his role as a partner in people’s health and he realizes the importance of that role.
“To feel responsible for someone’s health and to know you’re available for them in their time of need is gratifying,” says Dr. Lenchitz. “I think that’s ultimately why all doctors go into medicine, but with primary care there’s more closeness to that.”
UC Health, Cincinnati’s only academic medical center, is an integrated system spanning across the Tristate region. With main campuses located in Clifton and West Chester, as well as in various community settings, UC Health physicians are providing the best care where you need it most. For more information, call 513.475.8001 or visit their website at www.UCHealth.com/services/primary-care.