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The national average for patient-provider interaction during a typical appointment is seven minutes. Seven minutes to discuss a patient’s entire catalog of health issues. In most cases, that’s barely enough time for a provider to write a prescription.
At Vera, patients and providers get the time they need to get at the root cause of a patient’s health problems. With more time, patients and providers can form meaningful relationships, set SMART goals, and develop personalized care plans.
But there’s another benefit to longer appointment times: quality of care. Most healthcare organizations measure quantity as total patients served. What if we flipped that idea on its head? What if quantity goals focused on the amount of care delivered to an individual? Let’s take a look at how that works.
Alice takes time off work to see her provider for an annual exam. After waiting in the lobby, she heads to an exam room where she waits to see her doctor. During her seven-minute exam, she describes recent migraines she’s been having. Her provider prescribes medication for her migraines and notices that she’s due for a cervical cancer screening. So he also refers her to see an OBGYN.
Alice leaves the clinic but doesn’t have time to get her prescription filled, so she puts it off. Later that week, she develops a migraine but doesn’t have her medication, so she suffers through the pain. When she calls to schedule an appointment with the OBGYN, the only available time conflicts with work. Since the clinic is across town, she has to take a half day off work for the appointment, putting her behind schedule on a major project.
Alice visits her on-site clinic, located in the lobby of the tech firm where she works. Since the clinic is an elevator ride away, she doesn’t have to worry about taking time off work to get across town. When she arrives, she goes to an exam room where she meets with her provider.
During their 30-minute appointment, she discusses her migraines. Her provider asks more questions and discovers that Alice has been under a lot of stress at work. He prescribes her medication for the migraines but also suggests she talk to the clinic’s full-time, on-site health coach about stress-reduction techniques.
When Alice’s provider notices she is due for a cervical cancer screening, he sets up the screening to take place at the clinic before her appointment is over. While she waits for her screening in the room next door, Alice’s provider accesses the clinic pharmacy for her generic starter pack of migraine medication and gives it to her before she leaves.
On her way out with her medication in hand and screening complete, Alice makes a follow-up appointment to talk to a health coach. She returns to work in time for her afternoon meeting.
Alice’s story illustrates how an on-site clinic can provide more care and at a higher quality. The need to deliver more care in a single appointment is only going to increase as populations age and health issues become more complex. The same is true for patients with chronic conditions.
Hundreds of million of dollars are spent on research. Little progress is made. Costs continue to rise, and Americans are sicker than ever before. Where does this leave employers? Learn more by downloading our FREE resource: The Definitive Guide to Evaluating On-Site Clinics.
Stay current on healthcare industry developments, Vera updates, in-depth resources, and interviews with Vera providers