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Working differently can be the key to greater access and satisfaction for both you and your patients.
Seeing patients with dementia in a group setting can streamline visits and help provide support for caregivers and families.
And you thought just being a doctor was hard.
This practice-based research project highlights key sources of inefficiency in primary care and real-world suggestions for how to improve.
If it isn't thoughtfully applied, the team model may have unintended consequences.
Physicians can maximize their time - and their practice's income - by delegating more documentation tasks to well-trained staff.
What stands in the way of your practice achieving its goal?
Partnering with local groups that work with seniors can help you meet the special needs of older patients.
A health education specialist (HES) is a clinic staff member who can fill many roles now demanded in modern medical practices. In the authors' practice, the HES serves as both a health educator, encouraging patients toward more healthy behavior, and a health coach, helping patients choose and achieve defined health goals. These roles also include assisting physicians during Medicare annual wellness visits and coaching co-visits. The HES also can monitor care quality and oversee practice improvement initiatives, such as transitioning to a medical home model. Using non-medical personnel for HES positions, practices can still reap benefits from their specialized training while not having to remove nursing personnel from their increasingly important primary care responsibilities.
Most practices that implement same-day or open-access scheduling manage to improve patient access by reducing waiting times, but few achieve same-day or next-day access or sustainable improvements. Those that have sustained same-day access have done so by reducing demand and increasing capacity using the building blocks of improved access. These building blocks include panel size management, continuity of care, and the development of teams that add new capacity to deliver care without pushing work back to the physician. An interactive exercise, which follows a fictitious patient as she tries to schedule a same-day appointment with her family physician, is included with the article to help family physicians reflect on ways to improve access in their own clinics.