New Care Model
Updated: Friday, August 2 2013, 10:17 PM EDT
A common complaint among patients is too little time spent with their doctor, and a frequent complaint among doctors is too many patients to see.
As News 13's Jay Siltzer shows us in today's Health alert, one area doctor is solving both problems through a new model of care.
"it's very convenient. I was very timid about it at the beginning."
Patients at Trillium Family Medicine in Asheville use a secure portal to explain online their health concerns, ask the doctor questions, access medical records, obtain prescription refills and schedule appointments.
Laura Westbrook, patient, "I think it's the way of the future, smart phones just set it up and go."
Ripp Smith, patient, "we already have a shortage of family doctors and something has to make the system more efficient."
Ripp Smith typically gets in the same day to see Dr Mark McNeill at Trillium Family Medicine in Asheville.
This new model of care has few employees, reducing patient load and overhead, but increasing doctor-patient time.
Dr. S. Mark McNeill, Trillium Family Medicine, "the average visit for most family physicians is about 16 minutes, and schedule patients out about every 15 minutes. It's my opinion a 15-minute visit doesn't work for most visits; I'm able to spend on average 25 minutes with my patients."
Laura, "it's more personal because he has more time for you... He sits down like you and I are sitting, and talks."
Dr. Mcneill, "you are going to get higher quality care if you have the time... That goes a long way toward keeping patients out of the emergency room, out of the hospital... Those are the things that run up our healthcare cost."
Doctor McNeill says several physicians have observed his model of care and are considering adopting it.
There is no enrollment fee and most insurance is accepted.