Jim’sStory TheRightCareattheRightTimeintheRightPlace Jim Mackinaw had a heart murmur for several years without any complications, but when his condition worsened, CHMG’s primary and specialty care doctors made sure he promptly received the care he needed. To improve care, CHMG has sharpened its focus on improving access to appointments for new patients seeking primary care and for patients being referred for specialty care.The goal is to provide the right care at the right time in the right place. “They cleared a path for me,”Jim said.“They made every hurdle seem like flat land.” For Jim, the attention to his well-being began with his primary care physician, Dr. Katharine Fox at CHMG Pleasant Street Family Medicine. During an exam in 2013, Dr. Fox heard a heart murmur – sounds made by the blood circulating through Jim’s heart. Many heart murmurs are considered harmless, but Dr. Fox ordered an echocardiogram to document Jim’s condition at the time, and allow her to notice any changes at future exams. In September 2016, the murmur sounded different, so she ordered a new echocardiogram.The next day, Jim had an appointment with his cardiologist, Dr. Hsu-Ko HK Kuo, of Concord Hospital Cardiac Associates, who reviewed the echocardiogram and concluded a heart valve was clogged, affecting Jim’s circulation.The diagnosis triggered a series of comprehensive tests, in quick succession over the next few weeks, in preparation for open-heart surgery. “They worked around my schedule and it flowed so easily,”Jim said.“It was just like I was the only patient they had.” In November 2016, Dr. Gerald Sardella of CHMG Cardiothoracic Surgery replaced Jim’s damaged valve with a mechanical valve. He also performed a bypass to restore blood flow around a blocked artery. Even before the appointment with Dr. Fox, Jim and his wife, Claire, suspected something was wrong. He could only work in their garden or mow their lawn in Penacook for a few minutes before having to rest. He felt like he was being shadowed by a cloud that had stolen his quality of life. Jim appreciates the timely attention that blew the cloud away – from Dr. Fox’s referral, the diagnosis, the thorough preparation and Dr. Sardella’s surgical expertise. He credits nurse navigator Melissa Hogan with easing his anxiety about the procedure and helping him through the whirlwind of testing, treatment and recovery appointments. “It seemed like every time I went to an appointment, the next one already was set up,”Jim said.“It just flowed so smoothly, it was incredible.” The prompt access to expert care helped Jim return to the active life he enjoyed before his condition slowed him down and threatened his life. “I’m doing great,”he said.“I walk a couple of miles a day and I don’t get winded any more.” 18 Leading with Quality, Safety and Service