HERALD/REVIEW | Submitted by Michelle Georgiev SVEDF Administrative Assistant
Sierra Vista is unique in composition and rich in opportunity. It has the atmosphere of a small town combined with vibrancy and diversification in its professional skill. Sarah Bivens is the founder of the newly established Cochise Health and Wellness family practice and is an example of the shining professional skill within our city. The concept of running her own practice was a desire of hers for many years. She finally witnessed that longing become a reality in October of 2013 when they moved into their new facility located at 4669 North Commerce Drive.
Cochise Health and Wellness had its humble beginning in July of 2013 in the Business Complex, an entrepreneurial co-working facility designed to fill in the gap between business start-up and business sustainability. It serves as a place entrepreneurs can operate as a fully functioning business in a professional environment while they work toward building clientele and financial sustainability. “We were blessed to be able to work out of the Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation’s Business Complex. The services available to us allowed for planning, credentialing, obtaining the proper certifications, and all the steps involved with establishing a practice. With an administrative base we were able to take our time in selecting the right practice location, financing, and more fully developing our goals and objectives”, says Bivens.
The practice is unique in its concept as it turns away from the “see more patients per day” approach and is more patient-centered with the objective of blending exceptional preventative and restorative medical care with patient education and care counseling to empower their patients. Cochise Health and Wellness says farewell to rushed appointments, double-booked schedules and poor automation, which seems to have become the norm in family practice over the past few years. Their daily schedule is set up to allow at least 30-40 minutes of physician-patient time so they can fully cover all issues and ensure all care coordinating is complete before the patient leaves their office. They also leave room for same-day appointments so their patients can get in when they need to without having to wait two weeks.
“Our model blends the best of traditional family medicine with modern technology”, says Bivens. “In order to meet current and future requirements to record information digitally, we employ an integrated suite of systems covering practice management such as scheduling, medical record keeping, lab orders, e-scripts, and billing.”
“The system allows patients to check-in through a secure patient portal that can be accessed anywhere they have internet, including tablets and smartphones. The patient can spend their time with me instead of filling out forms”, says Bivens. “Not only can patients access their records using the portal, but they can request appointments, review lab results and send secure messages to the provider, and I respond back with more than just ‘make an appointment.’”
Cochise Health and Wellness will also offer “group visits” for the purpose of educating an assembly of people with like illnesses on how to properly manage and possibly reverse some of the side effects. “The merits of group visits have been well-documented for years, yet few providers offer them”, says Bivens. In addition to Diabetic Self-Management Courses for a selected portion of their diabetic patients, they have several workshops and small-group health education courses planned for the coming year. Topics range from health subjects, such as pain management, nutritional habits, and fitness, to other wellness topics, such as financial wellness, spiritual wellness, and home safety. These courses will be hosted in their multipurpose classroom conveniently located adjacent to the clinic. The goal of Cochise Health and Wellness is to become a center of wellness; a place where illness, disease, and injury are not just treated with a pill or shot; but with time, patience, and education.