Will Urgent Care Centers Help Shift the Healthcare Industry Towards Patient-Centered Care?
While definitely still troubled by numerous problems, the American healthcare industry is gradually changing for the better. In addition to initiatives like the Affordable Care Act and improving medical technology, new clinics and healthcare providers are emerging to help a greater number of people access the medical care they need. For example, thousands of urgent medical care centers now exist across the United States, offering immediate medical care for non-life-threatening conditions that might otherwise require the patient to wait weeks for a doctors appointment. Many of these urgent care clinics now also perform routine blood work, X rays, and physical exams. These new, fast and affordable services not only help local patients, but allow traditional medical providers, like hospitals, to focus on providing better medical care for the more seriously sick and injured.
Because of this rise of urgent medical care, many medical care providers seem to be shifting towards patient-centered care, an evolution of the typical doctor-patient relationship that could potentially lead to better results and care in the American medical system. But how could patient-centered care affect you?
Your Preferences Will Matter
While doctors decide on a care regimen after evaluating the likely outcomes, possible side effects, and potential benefits, there are a number of other factors that can make different medications or procedures a disagreeable choice for the patient. For example, a medication that warns against operating machinery might not seem like an appealing option for someone who works on a farm or likes to ride a motorcycle on weekends, especially when there are likely other options for their specific diagnosis. Patient-centered care would involve doctors explaining their options and allowing a patient to participate in their care.
You’ll Have a Team, Not Just a Doctor
Many people in the healthcare system say that a major reason the system is so ineffective is that doctors perform a number of tasks other workers could perform, reducing the time they could spend on more important tasks. Patient-centered care would include a network of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, nutritionists, social workers, and possibly even the help of local urgent care facilities to ensure that patients always get the care they need.
Appointments Won’t Always Be Necessary
Currently, you are likely used to accessing medical care through in-person appointments at your doctors office or local hospital. This has already started to change, as many patients find it is more convenient and affordable to seek out urgent medical care instead of waiting for their doctor to have an opening. Many medical providers are hoping to increase this convenience by offering online visits through video conferencing and further contact through email. This, combined with the existence of walk in medical clinics, makes accessing clinical care easier than ever.
The American healthcare industry is a constantly changing environment. From ever-improving technology and techniques to the rise of urgent care centers, medical care is continually searching for ways to improve the way doctors treat patients and their individual conditions. Will this lead to patient-centered care and other developments in the future? Only time will tell. Good refereneces.