Healthcare experts are saying that today’s healthcare environment might be the most challenging that it’s been in the past 100 years.
Fayetteville Medical Associate’s Dr. J. Fred Ralston Jr., who also is a former president of the American College of Physicians, told the “New York Times,” in a recent interview that “in today’s changing world of health care, the 1918 flu epidemic, world wars, and even the depression, have not challenged us to the extent that we are being challenged right now.”
The following suggestions listed in a “New York Times” news story can help improve patient care:
•Employ a low number of high-quality support staff. By cross-training all employees and doing multiple tasks himself, such as escorting patients to exam rooms, Dr. Jack Flyer, a physician service provider at CardioCare in Chevy Chase, Md., has been able to cut his office’s support staff in half (from 20 to 10) within two years. Meanwhile, visits increased 20 percent.
•Offer expanded office hours. Keeping your doors open beyond 9 to 5 is not only a huge factor in patient satisfaction, but it also allows practices to spread the cost of office space over more time. By being open until 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, for example, a practice could get 60 hours of clinical time out of its space versus the typical 36.
•Respond to change. When the credit crisis had fewer patients pursuing parenthood at Shady Grove Fertility two years ago, the 13-location market leader worked with an outside company to secure financing for some patients. The practice also offers a program to let patients share eggs from a single donor, cutting the $13,500 to $25,000 cost of infertility treatment by as much as $6,000.