Practice 360: A new model for General Practice
Outside General Practice, the world has changed, the world of your patients has moved, changed, morphed. The people who come into your practice run their days on their phones, through apps, online. They use a closely connected network, both personal and digital, to manage and control their lives and the lives of their families.
Consider how easy it is for you to do your banking now compared to 5 years ago, to book a flight, to get the latest book, movie, song…. in seconds not weeks, to find a room, to book in your pet at the Vet, to book a massage, a facial, share a ride and know exactly when your pizza is ready. The customer now expects to be in control, to be able to configure the service to their needs.
These are exciting times.
What they use to manage their health has also changed. Your phone and now even your watch can keep an eye on your CVD risk, predict a stroke or let you know you’re heading for an anxiety attack. Your contact lenses can manage your diabetes. A ‘smart patch’ on your baby can now let you sleep easy at night knowing that your phone will pick up any potential SIDS symptoms. Smart shoes now let us take better care of wandering Alzheimer patients and in-house sensors let children of elderly parents know if there’s any change in their mental and physical health… from thousands of miles away. This is not the future, this is the now and it opens so many opportunities for General Practice.
Less GPs, more patients, more need
But General Practice is also experiencing change making the current model of General Practice unsustainable. There are only so many 15-minute consult appointments available in a day to see patients and there are a fixed number of GPs….their numbers decreasing, rapidly. A 2015, RNZCGP survey shows the alarming rate of GPs intending to retire – almost 50% of GPs across NZ intend to retire in the next 10 years while in some areas, the rate is 60%. These GPs are not ‘old’, the average age of the GPs in the survey was 50 with a peak age of 54.
What patients want from a GP has changed too. Patients come into General Practice armed with Google searches and DIY diagnosis. They are looking to HCPs to help them decipher the data and to apply their highly skilled knowledge. With more and more information available, the greater the need for specialist knowledge.
‘Business as usual’ is no longer possible
We need to combine the best of clinical care with the best in patient user experience to give the best care possible. Currently, the environment is being created that will allow and cause ‘disruption’ in the way General Practice delivers its services. Patient expectations, health sector changes and digital delivery are presenting us with the opportunity to re-create General Practice in a way that reduces load and increases health outcomes. So how can Practice Managers capitalise on this? What ‘model’ will help guide the re-formation of General Practice? And where do you start?
In this session, we’ll look at how to use a ‘health marketing approach’, PRACTICE360, to re-orientate your general Practice to be ‘patient user-friendly’ so you can make your life easier and patients healthier.