We’ve been listening carefully to some suggestions our patients have made about a truly 21st-century family practice.
Here’s what you’ve been telling us and what we’d like to try to do:
“Give me a doctor I like, trust, and can actually get in to see today – tomorrow at the latest.”
Instead of just one doctor you’d have two – your main one and a back-up.
Doctors would work in a “buddy system” so that when your main doctor was not available when you wanted to come in you’d still be able to see their colleague.
This means you’d usually be able to see one of two doctors whom you know, like and trust – and who know you.
“Show me you value my time – don’t make me wait on the phone or in the office.”
By using more sophisticated scheduling methods such as Advanced Open Access, it’s possible to dramatically reduce the number of days you’d wait for an appointment and the number of minutes you’d wait in the office.
In most cases you’d be able to get a same-day appointment and see your doctor within 10 minutes of your booked appointment.
“Make it easy to get an appointment.”
You can book flights, hotels and just about everything else online – why not a doctor’s appointment?
You’d be able to log on to your doctor’s password-protected schedule and book your appointment. Request an automated e-mail reminder. Maybe even jot a quick note about what you’d like to discuss – private of course. Easy.
“Give me choice about how I see my doctor – office visit, phone appointment, e-mail.”
Office visits are often necessary – but they should be the last resort rather than the only option. And the choice of how you interact with your doctor should be at least partly up to you. Phone appointments and e-mail can save everybody time.
“It’s my body – let me be a partner in my care.”
You already do so much online – why not be able to securely access your own medical record to see your most recent test results? Maybe you have a question about something – you could e-mail your doctor.