Earlier this year, PMG highlighted an alarming trend in the U.S. – fewer visits to the doctor. There are several possible reasons for this steady decline, but a recent study has identified one possible solution.
Researchers conducted the multiyear study to determine if email access to healthcare providers impacted the frequency of communication between patients and their physicians, and the number of in-person consultations. Study participants were given email access to their primary care providers, in addition to regular services. The findings confirmed that online access to doctors is associated with increased doctor visits, and as a result, email is now being considered as a method to boost patient consultations each year.
As a concierge physician, I’ve seen firsthand the positive impacts that patients having email access to their healthcare providers can have. This mode of communication helps guide patients through urgent situations, decreasing the number of avoidable hospitalizations. However, there is a rather significant roadblock to this solution – practice constraints associated with more frequent physician’s visits.
Using email access as a tool to increase the frequency of appointments is optimistic, but only viable if a physician has the time and availability to do so. With rosters of nearly 3,000 patients, many primary care physicians will find it difficult to accommodate last-minute requests and increased communications.
Because Principal Medical Group follows the concierge model of care, our physicians limit their patient pools to approximately 300 – allowing them to address patient needs as quickly and efficiently as possible. Therefore, if a patient wants more frequent consultations or email access, PMG has the bandwidth to accommodate them. And, if a patient and their physician identify an emergency situation via email, PMG’s physicians are available for an appointment on that same day. Contact us to learn how we can increase your consultations and enhance your care.