The 2017 Survey of Physician Appointment Wait Times and Medicare and Medicaid Acceptance Rates found that patients across the nation are having to wait much longer than they used to for a first-time appointment with a physician. In metropolitan areas surveyed, the wait averages 24 days. In mid-sized cities, it jumps to 32 days on average. In both cases, that’s an increase of more than 30% compared to 2014. And for many, it can mean a month of chronic pain, ongoing illness, or a prescription refill that should have happened yesterday.
From 2014-2016, one in five American adults couldn’t get in to see their regular doctor when it was needed. The reason? Half of the time, it was due to the doctor being completely booked.
Within the same time frame, reported use of emergency rooms and urgent care centers increased as well. When asked why they would visit these sites over a doctor’s office or health center, those surveyed cited the ease of being seen, rapidity of treatment, and a convenient location as key factors. For many patients, a primary care physician ends up being relegated to a secondary option when it comes to getting timely care.
Physician Shortages and (Lack of) Care Coordination
Convenience isn’t the only issue plaguing healthcare in America: according to projected numbers from 2016, the U.S. will need to produce nearly 45,000 more primary-care physicians by 2025 than current slots in medical schools and residencies will provide.
By 2025, U.S. medical schools will be graduating 45,000 fewer primary care physicians than our health care system requires.
Additionally, the structure of most healthcare systems makes it difficult for providers to engage in what a 2016 study from the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine reports as the most important factor in making care coordination work: relationship-building with patients, other providers, and community resources. When primary care practices in a community are already overwhelmed with patients, it’s often difficult to provide the sort of comprehensive care and communication between area specialists that a patient may need for the most effective—and life-changing—care.
But what if a healthcare solution could take into account the personalized needs, family and community support of a patient? What if the patient experience didn’t have to be filled with long wait times, crowded waiting rooms, and providers that have only minutes to get through a long list of necessary items during a visit? What if the patient experience was no longer a dread but an exciting chance to take control of one’s healthy lifestyle?
The Onsite Clinic Solution: Simplified
A Healthstat onsite clinic program is custom-built to take the frustration out of the patient experience. By creating a healthcare model that’s patient-centered and outcome driven, you’ll feel like part of a healthcare team that’s been built just for you.
Check out our Patient Experience video below to get a better idea of what visiting a Healthstat clinic looks like as well as the digital tools that make healthcare easy no matter where you are.
Curious about what our clients have to say about the Healthstat difference? Check out George Ganser’s inspiring decision to choose healthy and learn more about the impact that Healthstat’s clinic program has had on Keihin North America, a technology manufacturer in Indiana.