Building teams for care

Building teams for care

Are you Team Red or Team Blue? Maybe you prefer one color over the other, but either way, you’re in good hands!

You may not have noticed yet, but Harney District Hospital (HDH) Family Care has put in place a new team-based service approach to improve access to care (the ability to get in to see your primary care provider) and continuity of care (ensuring that those caring for you know you and can work with you to improve your health) for our patients. Team Red and Team Blue each consist of providers, medical assistants, schedulers, and other support staff. As a patient, you’ll be assigned to the team of your chosen provider. Teams work in collaboration to prepare for each patient visit, reviewing charts and ensuring that everything is taken care of with regard to prescriptions, lab tests, imaging results, etc. In other words, you have a whole team working hard to get you the care you need, when you need it. If your own provider isn’t available right away and you need to be seen sooner, you have the option of scheduling the next available appointment with another provider on the team who will be knowledgeable about you and your health needs. Beyond that, you can always choose to see someone on the other team, or get an appointment with the on-call provider (acute/urgent only).

In addition to implementing a team-based system to improve access to care, we are also actively recruiting to bring new providers on board as our patient load increases. Look for new faces to be joining our clinic family soon!

How are appointments scheduled?

We try to get patients in to see their own provider as soon as possible, but depending on availability and urgency, here are the options we have to get you the care you need:

1. Next available appointment with your provider.
2. Next available appointment with a another provider on your team.
3. Next available appointment with a provider from the other team.
4. Call the following day to get an appointment with the “on-call” provider (acute/urgent care only).

All providers have a limited number of same-day appointments available.

  • Dr. John Stauffer
    Posted at 06:46h, 25 April Reply

    Over eighteen years of being treated at HDH I have had two primary care providers. Dr. Morrow and now Dr. Johnston. Prior to those to amazing physicians I had two other primary care providers in my 73 years outside of the military. I have no negative comment to the suggested new care system , however I can tell you that as I age I do not like the lack of feeling not being able to see the physician who really knows me. I am amazed at the level of science that is available so I will continue to wait for an appointment with Dr. Johnston unless my issue is life threatening.

    • Steve Howe
      Posted at 11:46h, 25 April Reply

      Hi Dr. Stauffer,

      Thank you for your comment, and thank you for trusting us with your care over the past 18 years. We, too, are concerned about keeping patient wait times to next available appointments as low as possible. Recently, we’ve experienced an increased patient load, and decreased provider numbers, which has made this a challenge. The team-based approach is one way we hope to alleviate this issue — but of course, the main solution will be to bring more providers on board! We are working hard to recruit these new team members and open up appointment availability.

      We would always welcome the opportunity to hear more about your concerns personally — your input helps us improve. Feel free to call me anytime at 541-573-4113, or email

      Thank you,

      -Steve Howe

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