Virtual Primary Care Will Create a More Efficient Healthcare Experience. Here's How.
Primary care providers will function as the hub in a personalized care ecosystem, with the patient at the center.
Over the last couple of years, you may have used virtual primary care (VPC) to receive doctoral treatment from your home. Many people got accustomed to the efficiency of virtual healthcare with benefits like quick scheduling, decreased costs, and streamlined care.
Before the recent global health crisis, VPC was predominately used for acute illness and not recommended as a replacement for your primary care doctor. The tides are changing today, and telehealth services are quickly pivoting to adding primary care doctors to their solutions.
A study by the Wheel revealed that 63% of medical professionals predict virtual primary care will take over in-person treatment within the next five years. Over half of the clinicians surveyed reflected that virtual or hybrid treatment environments better fit their lifestyles and career goals. This shift is being recognized from the doctor's and patient's perspectives. Virtual primary care creates a more efficient healthcare experience for people of all ages.
What is virtual primary care, and how is it different?
Virtual primary care is a hybrid approach to medical treatment, allowing patients to visit their primary care doctor digitally or in person based on their needs. When you use virtual primary care, you can control when and how you see your doctor.
Since many people struggle with geographical concerns or a shortage of primary care doctors in their area, VPC creates an accessible middle ground. Switching to this care method could strengthen patient-to-doctor relationships while ensuring medical costs are appropriately allocated.
If a patient is in good health standing, they may not feel the need to go to one consultation and multiple in-person appointments to receive answers to their pressing questions.
Similarly, doctors can value their customers while minimizing the restraints of electronic health report systems and regulatory requirements. VPC could create a future where people feel in control of their healthcare with enhanced accessibility and a user-friendly experience. VPS allows patients to see the same doctor and get their annual physicals and medical testing and remove the need for wait times to see a primary care doctor in person.
The demand for Virtual Primary Care is prevalent, as seen in a recent Amwell survey revealing that one in four patients is open to switching providers to accommodate digital visits.
Nearly 80% of patients would prefer to use VPC if it meant they could see the same provider every week. Additionally, 77% said they prefer to see their provider over video consultations rather than a phone.
Common concerns with the current healthcare space
Patients and medical professionals struggle to stay afloat in the current healthcare space. Long wait times have become the industry norm if you are trying to find a primary care doctor in the United States.
Resultingly, more people are avoiding medical consultations altogether. When dealing with critical health concerns, it's ineffective for patients to wait weeks or months to receive a diagnosis. If you need to switch doctors promptly, you elongate your treatment timeline even more.
Alongside outrageous wait times, patients are plagued by high medical costs that aren't accessible for many working-class Americans. After years of utilizing VPC services, research reveals that many patients seek continual telehealth services to keep costs low and reduce unnecessary visits.
The shift to Virtual Primary Care is a solution appealing to younger generations who enjoy the ease of digital appointments. VPC is a healthcare evolution that could open doorways for patients to interact with more doctors, receive a better diagnosis, and reduce the common concerns that are so prevalent today.
How virtual primary care will provide lasting solutions
One of the most pressing issues in healthcare today is high costs. Virtual primary care takes a proactive approach to treatment instead of a reactive approach. VPC keeps prices lower on health plans, encouraging more individuals to seek regular care and take action on treatment.
There have been gaps in healthcare for years due to the delay of regular checkups. Virtual primary care can improve patient outcomes since wait timelines are shortened, reducing long-term costs and ensuring patients only receive the care they need.
Virtual primary care plans can drive patients to work with other in-network members, assisting in an enhanced doctor experience while keeping costs low. Overall, VPC opens up more patient choices, enriching the medical expertise and level of treatment control.
Additionally, providers can focus on providing value to their customers in a more streamlined environment. VPC could reduce burnout and setbacks, causing many doctors to question their level of control career-wise.
As we look toward the future, VPC could create a medical space of lower costs, quicker treatment, enhanced access to primary care doctors and faster diagnosis for various medical concerns.
Unlike telemedicine services, VPC still allows you to seek in-person treatment when it's right for you. This level of accessibility and control is something the healthcare space has been missing for some time.
The future of virtual primary care is promising
Before virtual primary care becomes a permanent solution, many systems will need to be addressed. VPC will need to guarantee a seamless patient experience while considering the digital divide and lack of electronic accessibility. Further, there will need to be a strategic online organizational strategy that keeps operations smooth.
Although there is always room for improvement, a notable shift towards VPC can't be reversed. You might have used telehealth services for the first time during the recent health crisis. The unfortunate circumstances of the past few years have fortified the need for digital solutions, with virtual primary care leading the way.
Over the next few years, the push towards VPC will be felt by doctors, medical professionals, and patients alike. The benefits of VPC are promising and could offer the solutions that healthcare needs to stay agile in the modern world.
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