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How Shared Medical Practices Can Provide Better Access To Healthcare

Ways You Can Help Improve Accessibility To Healthcare For Patients

Accessibility to healthcare is crucial for modern practices. Although many people think of accessibility as being able to physically access a clinic, the term has become more encompassing in recent years and includes ease of access to information from their clinic, the ability to communicate with the provider via email, and digital resources such as an online portal, online scheduling, and virtual appointments. Making small changes to your medical practice can make all the difference for your ability to work with a wider group of patients.

Improving accessibility to healthcare for patients

Why Is Accessibility Important To My Medical Practice?

In simple terms, accessibility means that everyone is treated equally and is able to visit a healthcare provider when needed. Although there are federal regulations regarding physical accessibility into buildings, not every medical practice is set up to provide care both online and offline.

Some of the most common accessibility gaps in modern medical practice include:

  • Lack of care, when a patient has difficulty accessing regular health checks, treatments, and medication due to shortened hours of operation or difficulty communicating with under trained staff.
  • Difficulty paying for care, an especially common issue in healthcare fields that are not covered or are under-reimbursed by health insurance companies. 
  • The challenges of chronic illness, which can limit a person’s ability to work, making healthcare, treatments, supplements, and equipment, and other medical expenses even more unaffordable.
  • Health risks and lifestyle factors, for example, when a person who needs a mobility aid struggles to remain active, leading to secondary health risks such as obesity, depression, and high blood pressure.
  • Travel difficulties, such as living in a rural area that may lack resources and require extensive travel to more urban areas
  • Provider shortages, either because of a lack of healthcare facilities in the area or a lack of staffing
  • Employment challenges, a common issue when employers do not provide sufficient time off for resting and time spent at medical appointments, or when a person’s illness prevents them from being able to hold a job.
  • Lack of awareness, which might include not being aware of local providers who could be helpful, reception staff being unsure how to communicate with people who have impairments, or a patient’s difficulty using an online system.

How Can Shared Medical Practice Help With Healthcare Accessibility?

As a provider in a shared medical practice, there are many ways that you can help improve accessibility to healthcare for patients, which may also help grow your business. Even small changes can make a significant difference for patients who struggle to access healthcare. 

Easy Appointment Scheduling

Some online scheduling systems are overly complicated. Implement a service that is easy to use, and utilize the services of a shared receptionist for people who would rather schedule over the phone.

Careful Use Of Technology

Modern technology can help patients with disabilities and their caregivers. There is no best option for everyone, but some features to look for include virtual appointment capability, voice booking technology, online portals for access to lab work and other information, and telemedicine applications. 

Consider a Voice Booking Service

When patients can schedule appointments online, your staff can shift their focus to providing patient care. Patients also report an improved experience when they don’t need to wait in a queue or can schedule at any time of the day or night. Making this service available through voice booking technology, as well as through an online portal, can make appointment scheduling more accessible for all of your patients.

Manage Your Available Time Slots

It’s imperative to carefully manage appointment volume in your practice. Too many appointments close together leads to rushed appointments and insufficient time with patients, leading to errors and patient dissatisfaction. But appointments that are too long lead to wasted time, fewer patients, and reduced income. 

Partner With Pop-Up Clinics

Lending your services to remote facilities is a great way to provide care to people who may otherwise struggle to get it, due to their distance from a healthcare facility, difficulty traveling, lack of income, disability, or other reasons. Pop-up clinics give you the ability to work with a wider patient population, enabling you to increase your skills and provide education to patients.

Provide Telehealth Appointments

Remote healthcare can’t replace all in-person visits, but can do a lot to improve ease of care for patients who may struggle to travel or have other challenges with attending appointments in person. Telehealth appointments also enable patients to receive fast responses to questions or minor problems without the time and inconvenience of traveling to their clinic or waiting on the phone.

Provide Extended Hours

Offering late or early hours 1-2 days a week, or occasionally being open on a weekend, can go a long way in providing access for patients who would have to miss work if your only openings are between 8 am and 5 pm.

Filling Gaps With Shared Medical Office Space

Accessibility to medical care can profoundly impact patients and their families. With their ability to keep costs low, offer flexible appointment times, and offer easy scheduling, shared medical practices are paving the way for a brighter future in healthcare.

Build Your Medical Practice With Shared Medical Leasing

Grow your medical practice by working at Wellness Space, shared medical office suites that provide accessible and convenient office space with all of the tools and resources you need to build a successful practice. Give your patients a better experience and relieve your stress by partnering with Wellness Space. Schedule a phone call with us today to learn more about our services and how we can support your medical practice!

 
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The WellnessSpace Team

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