The state of primary care has been in upheaval for several years now. The future of family doctors has been a hot topic as the face of healthcare changes, and new reports come to light that there may be fewer doctors in the future, resulting in a shortage of access to medical care. Specifically, the technology you use to interact with family medical doctors, and their availability, is likely to undergo some big changes in response to the changing needs of patients and their families. For many people, these will be welcome changes.
Do your family medical doctors use online portals? If they don’t already, you should keep an eye out for the integration of this convenient technology. Computer savvy patients can use these portals, which will look and function almost exactly like any other website, to more easily connect with their doctors and their records. Depending on the technology your doctor’s office uses, you might be able to do any of the following actions:
- Make, change, or cancel an appointment
- Communicate with your doctor, and request refills for prescriptions
- Update your personal and contact information
- Manage your insurance and billing information
- See your test results, and sometimes the doctor’s notes
Despite the predicted shortage of family medical doctors, the medical industry in the United States is growing approximately 20% per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What it comes down to is that it may be easier than ever for you to visit your family doctor. Part of this is owed to the fact that your average health clinic is not so average anymore. Walk-in clinics, urgent care, and primary care sometimes exist under the very same roof! The lines are getting blurred, and while there are some urgent care clinics that don’t have family medical doctors on staff, others might, making it easier than ever for you to see your doctor when you need them. Perhaps due to this kind of competition, some family doctors are actually choosing to extend their office hours into the evenings and weekends.
In the United States there are approximately 209,000 physicians dedicated to primary care. Changes in technology, and in the availability of these doctors, may finally start to become beneficial to the patient looking for an easier way to connect with a trusted medical provider.
Have you seen these benefits yet, or are you still waiting for a change in your health clinic of choice? Read this website for more information.