Preparing to write this blog post, I looked for pictures that represented the modern visit to a doctor’s office. Almost every picture I found depicted a doctor facing the patient and hand-writing notes. Has this been your experience? It has not been mine.
The media likes to talk about a “healthcare” crisis. This often references limited access to, and the cost of, our medical system. Access to medical services is one issue many people face in today’s medical system. However, perhaps a greater problem we face is the focus of our system.
I hesitate to call our system a healthcare system. We focus most of our resources managing disease.
I am using these two terms in the following way:
Much of what happens today falls into the disease management category. This is understandable considering that doctors on average only spend 17.6 minutes on each patient visit. During those 17 minutes doctors on average address 6 complaints. Ten minutes to address the primary concern; and 7 minutes to address the other 5 concerns.
Most doctors see 20 or more patients every day. That comes out to at least three patients every hour. They spend over 2 additional hours outside of seeing patients in front of a computer completing administrative tasks.
Has it ever felt like your doctor spent most of the time focused on a computer screen?
If this is your experience, you are not alone. Much of this 17 minutes doctors look at a computer screen, typing, and checking boxes in their electronic health record (EHR) system.
This is not an indictment of doctors trapped in this system. Most doctors I know are unhappy with these circumstances. Doctor burnout is high. This is easy to understand when you consider all that doctors face. They are frustrated with documentation demands, lack of quality time with patients, the constant threat of litigation, increased administrative tasks, bloated notes to satisfy insurance (including government insurance), and decreasing compensation.
On top of all of this, it is not uncommon for a primary care doctor to have over 2,000 patients on their panel (list of patients under their care). It is understandable that many doctors, either conscious or unconscious, throw up their hand and surrender to the system.
How does Direct Primary Care (DPC) help address this problem?
In a direct care model of medicine, you have a direct relationship with your doctor. You and your doctor form a partnership centered on the maintenance and restoration of your health.
How can this be?
In the DPC model, your doctor has fewer patients. Fewer patients leaves more time for each appointment (if needed). This provides the opportunity to treat you as a whole person. The focus can move from management of a disease toward the possibility of the restoration of health.
At most DPC clinics, including Revive Family Medicine, you have direct access to your doctor when you need him. For a small monthly fee, about the same as a cellphone plan, you have unlimited appointments, 24/7 electronic access for urgent questions, discounts on laboratory and other services, same day/next day appointments, and so much more. Check out our membership page for more details: ReviveFamilyMedicine.com/membership.html.
There are many choices for care. If you want a doctor that will partner with you on your health journey, then DPC may be a good choice for you and your family. DPC provides an opportunity to form a partnership to restore and maximize your health.
This is a great choice for those wishing to maintain and maximize their health! It is also a great choice for those dealing with chronic conditions.
For more information check out ReviveFamilyMedicine.com/membership.html or contact us to schedule a free 30 minute Discovery session to explore if what we offer is a good fit for your needs.
Tai-Seale M, McGuire TG, Zhang W. Time allocation in primary care office visits. Health Serv Res. 2007;42(5):1871-1894. doi:10.1111/j.1475-6773.2006.00689.x
"Do you spend more time on administrative tasks than your peers?"