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Unarguably, the COVID-19 pandemic served as a catalyst for change in many industries. From the boom of Zoom to normalizing food delivery, traditional methods of service have been disrupted by a growing consumer expectation for convenience and ownership over their lives. For healthcare – one of the historically slowest evolving industries – the evolution of Primary Care models is just the beginning of unparalleled change.
Primary Care serves as a patient’s entryway into the health care system. However, the overarching disruption to speed and quality of service expectations has begun to create disconnect with the traditional Primary Care model:
- Primary Care is not meeting consumer demand. The average wait time for a patient with a new Primary Care Provider (PCP) is 26 days. That’s about 23 days longer than patients are used to waiting.
- Primary Care Providers are experiencing burnout. With 20% of PCPs saying they are understaffed, doctors are left with more than 2,500 patients to tend to, according to a 2022 study by Aetna. This patient overload is leading to a poor work-life balance that has not gone unnoticed. Additionally, medical students are losing interest in Primary Care, as a specialty, therefore further reducing the workforce needed to support staffing needs in PC offices (WGSN, 2022).
How can healthcare organizations dodge these pitfalls? By designing a telehealth program that meets the need for accessibility and personalization while continuing to deliver the benefits of a traditional Primary Care relationship.