Improving Access to Care
- Finding a suitable healthcare provider with whom the patient can communicate and trust, whether it be a PCP, specialist or hospital
- Getting to an appointment or location where needed services are provided
Often geographical distances and shortages or primary care or specialists make access difficult for patients. This can be compounded by health and life issues such as the ability to travel, access to transportation, work hours, and cultural/language barriers.
For doctors, access issues often involve:
- Being able to be contactable by a wider population and the ability to service a larger panel of patients
- Getting to locations such as remote clinics where they provider their services
- Providing “after hour” accessibility, and being available to their patients when coming into the office is not possible.
Physician drivers for providing better access include increasing patient satisfaction, maximizing productivity, giving them more time to spend with sicker patients, increasing practice productivity, and minimizing impact to their off work hours.
Healthcare Delivery Organizations
For healthcare delivery organizations, access concerns and issues may include:
- Rural and community hospitals: Getting their patients access to medical specialties, especially after hours and retaining patients in their local community.
- Tertiary and specialty providers: Providing their services to associate hospitals and/or offering up their services or ‘brand’ to a wider geographical area.
- SNFs, rehabs and assisted living facilities: Having an ability to treat patients in place without necessitating transport.