Frank Maselli is a general practitioner and the Founding Partner at the Riverdale Family Practice, an independent practice in Riverdale that has achieved PCMH 2011 Level 3 recognition. Riverdale Family Practice is a member of the Bronx United IPA, which plays a leading role in BPHC’s governance committees and projects. In addition, Dr. Maselli sits on BPHC’s Quality & Care Innovation Sub-Committee.
“Fifteen years ago, I found it harder and harder to practice medicine,” recalls Dr. Frank Maselli, a family practitioner who co-founded the Riverdale Family Practice (RFP) alongside Dr. Carl Franzetti. Patients were flocking to the new practice, and Dr. Maselli was soon overloaded with administrative tasks and thousands of paper charts, which sometimes interfered with patient care. “Patients were frustrated, and I was frustrated,” he says.
With paperwork piling up, Dr. Maselli knew that the solution was to computerize the office. By October of 2001, RFP was completely paperless. “It revolutionized what we did,” he says. “It really took away so much chaos.”
Dr. Maselli looked for other ways that technology and teamwork could make his practice more efficient, and in 2007 the answer literally walked into his office. RFP was invited to participate in an Emblem Health-led study on the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model. “They would help us become a medical home and transform the practice,” he says. “It looked good – I got free stuff – so I signed on the dotted line.”
Unfortunately the study was halted early, but “by the time they pulled the plug on the project, we’d already learned so much,” says Dr. Maselli. “We learned that you could work as a team to do things, that there’s no reason a doctor has to do everything.”
This was Dr. Maselli’s first foray into the PCMH model, and there was no turning back – RFP has maintained PCMH recognition ever since. RFP is now fueled by a close-knit team, a philosophy that “It Takes a Village” to care for patients, and a set of systems, pioneered by COO Cathy Franzetti, that make care more efficient, effective, and enjoyable.
Technological innovations made much of this transformation possible. “I don’t want to be a cyber doc,” Dr. Maselli laughs, “but automation takes away everything that distracts you from your patient and why her back hurts. You’re able to focus much more on her.”
“When you become more efficient, and adopt more of a team approach, you’d be surprised how much more time you have to spend with patients,” he says. “The practice of medicine for me is much more rewarding.”
(Published February 10, 2016)