Americans don’t like visiting doctors’ offices. On average, they visit a doctor only four times a year.
Canadians visit their doctors almost double that amount. In Japan, the average person visits a doctor 13 times a year.
Yet, many medical practices are changing their methods to make chatting with doctors more accessible, faster and more meaningful.
Read on for 7 ways that doctors’ offices are changing to make patients happier.
1. Doctors Online Chats
Instead of waiting weeks for an appointment, patients can now begin chatting with doctors online through an app on their smartphones.
Telemedicine makes it possible for patients to have access to digital doctors right when they need them. Telemedicine is available in urgent care Brooklyn centers.
Whether if its to refill a prescription or connect with a therapist for a 10-minute regroup strategy session.
By 2020 there may be as many as 45.6 million virtual consultations taking place in the U.S.
Patients will benefit from the convenience of chatting with doctors from the comfort of their home. This will be extremely useful for those with limited mobility or people with transportation issues.
These online video chats will also reduce wait time for appointments.
2. Birth Control Door Deliveries
More and more online services are making it easier for people to get access to reproductive health products by delivering them straight to the door.
Several companies let people order birth control online without a prescription. Digital doctors review the request and authorize the delivery.
One of these birth control companies is called Nurx. They offer over 40 brands of birth control pills as well as patches, rings, and emergency contraception.
Shipping is quick and free. Best of all, if you have insurance, the service is free.
If you don’t, the cost is a reasonable $15 each month. This is just one way to save money on prescription meds.
3. Technology Improves Rehab
A big stride in improving patients’ happiness is by new technology that helps patients have better recovery from their injuries at home.
Common injuries such as ACL tears, carpal tunnel, or dislocated shoulders can now be effectively rehabilitated from home.
Various tech now lets patients get individualized therapy that is effective and intensive from home.
New robotic technology provides world-class care from local medical facilities. Patients will no longer have to travel long distances to the closest specialty clinic.
4. Pay-Per-Month Models of Care
Now and in the future, we can expect to see many more medical clinics that accept cash instead of insurance.
These practices help millions of Americans who don’t have insurance plans or have a too-high deductible.
Some medical clinics charge by the procedure. Others are offering access to doctors and health exams around-the-clock for a set monthly price.
5. Updated Waiting Rooms
Ask anyone, and they will say one of the worst things about visiting a doctor’s office is the waiting room.
Futuristic doctor’s offices may not have waiting rooms at all. But for now, many medical clinics are moving away from the row of plastic seats and white walls.
Instead, you can expect to start seeing waiting rooms that look more like a comfortable living room.
This will help alleviate some doctor anxiety in patients. And it will also help patients feel less like a number.
Sitting in a gently-lit, plush chair or couch with tasteful artwork can make a big difference in how you feel leading up to the moment your name is called.
6. Online Check-ins at Doctors’ Offices
Many doctors’ offices are embracing a new service that allows patients to check-in for their appointments online.
They can use their computer or smart device to check in before arriving at the clinic.
Online check-ins eliminate the paper forms that patients typically fill out when they visit the doctor. Not only is this a waste of paper, the forms often ask for redundant information.
Moving this information online helps patients move through the waiting room more efficiently. It also lets doctors review their patient’s issues ahead of time. Then, instead of spending a few seconds glancing over the form, doctors can have actual conversations with the patients about their health.
Office staff will no longer have to re-key data from these intake forms. That eliminates the risk of error associated with data entry.
7. More House Calls
Concierge medicine is the practice where a doctor visits patients in their home. This was typical hundreds of years ago, and it is now back again.
House calls are available in California, Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia at the moment and will expand in coming months. Currently, house calls are available in about 200 cities in these locations.
Patients download an app, schedule their appointment and wait for the doctor to arrive. This removes the paper-based focus of traditional healthcare in favor of more personal interaction.
In the U.S., many people prefer to go to the emergency room than make an appointment for weeks later. Or they just don’t go at all.
The idea is that with access to house calls, more people will feel comfortable with consulting a doctor.
Plus, considering the number of germs you might expose yourself to in a doctor’s office or emergency room, there’s a big appeal for this type of service.
These doctors accept insurance as well as a flat rate of $99 for those who are uninsured.
Thanks for reading. As you can see, things are changing. Your experience before, during and after your visit to doctors’ offices is going to start improving.
And there’s no doubt that these changes will have a good impact on patient health and wellness.
Next, check out these 5 tips to boost your mental health.