A common term that is heard from patients and colleagues alike is the phrase that we are in “the era of modern medicine”. Medicine in the specialty segments has exploded with innovation and changes, bringing new scans and medical technologies essential in helping clinicians diagnose. But that modernization rarely trickles down to the day-to-day medicine in a primary care.
Primary care has not changed since the 1950’s where one doctor, would care for a group of 2,500 patients. That one doctor would handle ever single aspect of the patient’s care; including lab orders, medication refills, telephone calls, referral notes, consults, imaging reviews, and actually seeing a patient in an exam room.
This same model is still in place today, however doctors are seeing way more than 2,500 patients. The average wait time to schedule with a provider is over 3 weeks. The providers’ attention is so split between in-room care and out-of-room care that in-room care has been cut down to 8 minutes per patient to fit everything in. Can we still consider this modern medicine?
Teamwork is what is needed in the primary care world. Primary care needs teams who are comprised of providers, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants, collaborating and treating a shared group of patients. Just like an attorney with their team of paralegals, a dentist and their hygienists, or a pilot and a co-pilot; primary care needs to adapt to a teamwork model. This team based approach is the foundation of Summit Primary Care.
By working as a team, our providers pool ideas together and implement plans to best address each patient. Having multiple clinicians working in this manner, it creates the opportunity for discussion amongst our clinicians, where there typically was none before, and a division of the out-of-room care.
Patients greatly benefit from this team approach. They have easier and quicker access to scheduling, because they can schedule with multiple providers rather than just one. The discussion between members of our team ensures patients receive greater coordinated care. Providers also have more time to spend in an exam room with a patient discussing their concerns, so patients leave knowing their provider took time and understands their concerns. Patients also see a quicker turn around on receiving lab results, prescription refills, and other out-of-room care.
The providers benefit by learning from each other about the newest treatments and procedures. Their days are spent doing what they are passionate about, treating and helping patients, not endless paperwork.
For patients looking for a different experience, we offer Summit Primary Care.