Concierge Physicians have the Luxury of Time
Used to be, your doctor came to the hospital to follow you and your case, whether it was 3 a.m. or 3 p.m. Times have changed and brought with them a rise in hospitalist care. The Los Angeles Times took a hard look at the practice known as the handoff, when a doctor responsible for a patient’s care “hands off” the responsibility to another physician coming to work. Article author and physician Rahul Parikh writes that: “Statistics show that some 80% of adverse events in hospitals involve communication problems between healthcare professionals, often in the form of a fumbled handoff.”
Additionally, he notes that a “typical” primary care doctor may review up to 800 lab results, 40 radiology reports and 12 pathology reports per week. It goes without saying that the amount of attention and thought required by a “typical” primary care doctor would actually require that person to be a “Super Doctor.” And of course, such overload could be expected to create the potential for error.
A doctor practicing concierge medicine has the luxury and the liberty to actually follow his patients. He’s able to respond to them almost immediately, to see them quickly and to actually visit them in the hospital should he so choose: Many do just that. Additionally, a lighter patient load, usually between 400 to 600 patients, affords more time and attention to each one. That kind of one-on-one simply can’t exist when a doctor has 2,500 to 3,000 patients on the roster and sees them an average of eight minutes each.
Concierge medicine by SignatureMD allows for a more thorough continuum of care, making it easer for the physician to keep track of individual medical records, including medications and treatments administered in the hospital. It also encourages time spent for creative thinking about the latest trends in medicine. All of this is good for any patient, but especially for those with multiple, chronic conditions. Communication problems overall are diminished when doctors aren’t hassled or worried, free to do what they do best.
With offices in Los Angeles, California and Richmond, Virginia, SignatureMD (signaturemd.com) is one of the nation’s largest firms providing initial conversion and ongoing support services to concierge medicine physicians. SignatureMD currently partners with over 200 affiliated primary care physicians and specialists across 35 states, and its network is rapidly expanding.