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The Rise of Urgent Care and Retail Clinics – Or Is It The Rise of Convenient Healthcare?

Posted on December 5, 2018 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that primary care faces more challenges than it’s ever faced before. Not the least of which is being one of the lowest paid medical professions with rising medical school prices which encourages more doctors to choose specialty medicine and eschew primary care. What’s astounding is that this trend stands in stark contrast to what patients want from primary care. Patients want more convenience while the medical establishment is turning out fewer primary care doctors which creates a shortage of doctors and long wait times for primary care visits.

As Lydia Ramsey notes in her tweet below, urgent care offices are popping up everywhere. Combine that with retail clinics and the future of primary care is facing a lot of serious questions.

The reality is that most patients don’t want to go to urgent care or retail clinics. They’d much rather go to their PCP. Why don’t they go? The simple answer is convenience.

It’s much more convenient to hit the urgent care or retail clinic than it is to go to their primary care doctor. Some of this has to do with a shortage of primary care doctors which means long wait times to be seen. In other cases, it’s the really poor experience patients have had visiting their doctor in the past. I don’t need to list off the litany of bad patient experiences that we’ve all had when visting doctors. It’s like a universal PTSD experience that everyone has gone through.

Dave Chase offered his take on the rise of urgent care:

I’m not sure about his reference to the “devastation of primary care.” I’d be interested to hear why he thinks primary care has been “devastated.” Is he referring to over-regulation and underpayment? Is he referring to the shortage of docs I mention above? Is he referring to the rubber stamp PCP visits that are required to see a specialist in many insurance plans and in many ways ruined the PCP visit?

No doubt, primary care has been one of the least appreciated medical professions. However, primary care doctors didn’t do themselves any favors either. In many ways it reminds me of what Uber and Lyft have done to the taxi industry. Taxis could have embraced all the conveniences that Uber and Lyft provide, but they chose not to do so. Why not? Because they felt like they didn’t need to change since they had a virtually monopoly on the industry. Would I rather get a taxi? Yes, but I don’t because Lyft is more convenient. Sounds a lot like PCPs, doesn’t it? We’d rather go to a PCP, but an urgent care or retail clinic is more convenient.

Going back to Dave Chase’s comment that “If there’s proper primary care in a community and ethical hospitals, there’s no need for separate urgent care.” I might agree if he’d say there was less need for a separate urgent care. Urgent care does some really great work in off hours. However, the real problem is defining what he calls “proper primary care.”

I do think that if PCPs would have embraced better patient experiences, urgent cares and retail clinics would be much smaller. That said, does anyone think we can put that genie back in the bottle? I don’t think so. I believe our future healthcare system is going to have urgent care, retail clinics, and primary care.

The real question is what can PCPs do to make sure they thrive in this new mixed environment? I’d suggest that the first place to start is convenience.

The Fiscal Cliff of Primary Care and Jubilee Health Community – Around Healthcare Scene

Posted on December 23, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

EMR AND HIPAA

The Fiscal Cliff of Primary Care

Everyone has heard about the Fiscal Cliff that is currently being talked about at the White House, but have you heard about the fiscal cliff of primary care? The Hello Health Blog posted some interesting facts about what they refer to as the fiscal cliff of primary care. At the core of the discussion is whether or not EHR software is a financial win or loss.

Mobile Health Trends and Technology

This post features videos that were taken at the mHealth Summit in Washington D.C. The videos are interviews with various people and describe some of the up and coming mobile health trends and technology. David Collins and Jonathan Dreyer talk about different trends they have seen, and provide a perspective on health applications.

Hospital EMR and EHR

Impossible to Say “Wrong EHR”

The title of this isn’t always true — it is possible for a hospital to have implemented the wrong EHR. However, it’s a hard mistake to admit. Especially with EHRs like Epic, which are highly selective and cost so much money.

Oops! Community Hospitals Unhappy with EMR Purchase

The latest KLAS reports revealed that many community hospitals are disappointed with their EMR, and questioning the purchase. Some of the hospitals are even pulling the systems completely from their practice. This may not be the best solution, but some of these hospitals don’t feel like it is worth the time and effort.

Smart Phone Health Care

Jubilee Health Community and NoMoreClipboard Combine Forces To Help Diabetes Patients

Diabetes is very prevalent in the United States today, and it can be difficult to manage. Jubilee Health Community provided NoMoreClipboard with someone of their diabetic patients to help treat and manage their diabetes. After a year, some interesting results were found. In some cases, the health of a patient who actively used the system increased.

Doctor Quits Practice Over EHR Use

Posted on May 5, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I got sent this interesting article that starts by talking about a doctor who leaves his medical practice because of the 3 physician group’s EHR system. The complaint being that patient wait times were 1-2 hours. The major problem seems his inability to type and to learn the new system.

Did no one offer this doctor a scribe or voice recognition (although this would have probably even been harder for him) to make his EHR use easier?

Reminds me of the opposite side of the coin as well. A medical student friend of mine hates when he has a rotation in a practice that doesn’t have an EMR. Mostly because he can type so much faster than he can write.

EMR in Paris

Posted on May 3, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’m always fascinated to learn about various international EMR and healthcare IT. While in many cases it’s hard to compare the various health systems with the US, I think there’s often something we can learn. Plus, when I saw the title of this article, “Dear EMR: Greetings from Paris, Wish You Were Here,” how could I resist not reading it? In fact, you should do the same. Go read, and I’ll wait for you to get back….

Maybe I was also drawn to this story because I’ve had a similar experience with healthcare in Italy. Luckily, it was my friend that was the patient and not me. He actually suffered from ulcers and we got to enjoy the quality Italian medical care up close and personal. Luckily, unlike the lady in the story, we spoke Italian and had an Italian with us who was the daughter of one of the doctors that worked there.

Even so, I can imagine how much better it had been if they’d had access to my friend’s medical record. The care they could have provided would have been much better. Information is power. Although, I was surprised how little information they took before treating my friend. I’m sure the thought of communicating what happened at the visit back to a primary care doctor was the last thing on their mind. Thankfully in the two years I lived in Italy I never had to visit a doctor myself. Even though some of them I met outside of the hospital we’re incredibly smart and talented individuals. I think I was ruined when I was visiting another friend and the cigarette butts were on the floor of the halls.

For those that didn’t read the above article, the last paragraph was pretty interesting for me:

Perhaps my own story makes me sound like a demanding, spoiled American who expects Cadillac medical care. And maybe I am. But even though I write about healthcare technology for a living, having a personal experience of what healthcare is like without it helped me to better understand its importance.