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TOPIC: Interdisciplinary

The GITT Approach from a Doctor’s Perspective
Lisa Davidson, MD

When you are seeing someone in your office, you have all the control…but when you do home visits, you really see the problems that people are facing. It’s one thing to tell your patient to take your medicine and you need to be on a better diet, but when you see that they’re stuck in their apartment and don’t have anyone to get their prescription for them or that they are not eating because there is no food in the home, it’s a completely different experience. It makes you realize that maybe what we focus on in medicine and the things that are important to us are really not the things that are important to our patients. It has changed the way that I interact with patients. It’s more important to find out about them as a person than as a disease. Long-term disease only defines a small part of their life. The team approach (GITT) worked really well. We talked about issues we are not really trained to pick up on, ethical issues, family support. In fact, one of the things that most impressed me about this program was the amount of enthusiasm from team members and their ability to find ways to help patients.

Excerpted from the John A. Hartford Foundation 2000 Annual Report

The GITT Approach from a Nursing Perspective
Lillian Flores-Perez, RN, MSN, NP-C

In observing the interaction of a GITT team, Flores-Perez understood how a nurse-practitioner can utilize both the medical insights of the physician and the social insights of the social worker, Before, those two perspectives often seemed in conflict. “I could see that patients under the age of 80 primarily need medical management. We need to make sure that we control the blood pressure and the diabetes and all those needs so they won’t have long-term negative consequences. But then I was able to see that after 80, the primary goal is to make sure that all of their psycho-social needs are cared for. Solely medical management is no longer a priority. So that’s when the light bulb went on. And once I learned how this type of team care is crucial for helping the patient, I was able to immediately implement it in my current job.”

Excerpted from the John A. Hartford Foundation 2000 Annual Report

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