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The marker of an efficient and effective primary health care system is one that optimizes accessibility and increases availability. However in Canada, timely access to a family physician remains a concern. Longer wait times for primary care appointments has been linked to adverse outcomes. This leaves patients with no choice but to rely on urgent care services.  In this blog, we will discuss how implementing telehealth solutions can help your clinic become a leader in providing timely health care services.

The wait times in Canada

A study conducted by BMC Health Services Research in 2017 has shown that in Canada, access to family physicians has become more challenging. This is due to physician shortages and the rise in individuals suffering from disability issues and chronic diseases. National surveys have also shown that Canadians struggle to schedule same-day appointments with their family physician and often rely on urgent care for non-urgent health issues. According to another study conducted by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) in 2019, the median wait time to see a family doctor in Canada was 7.6 days.

It is important to note that in some regions and for certain medical issues, the wait times can be significantly longer. In some cases, patients may need to wait several weeks or even months to see a family doctor.

People with cancer and heart disease have been linked to a higher risk of morbidity and mortality. Similarly, patients with mental health conditions have also experienced a rapid deterioration in their condition due to delays in receiving timely care. The adverse effects of extended wait times are not restricted to health outcomes alone. Patients may also face financial challenges as some are unable to work.

What is the solution?

Many provinces in Canada have implemented strategies to reduce wait times and increase access to primary care through telehealth. Further studies by BMC Health Services Research into improving wait times suggests that clinics create an open access model to appointment scheduling. A way to improve access to care for patients. In a study by Pickin et al, it was also demonstrated that the increasing number of same-day appointments proved to be preferred by young patient population. Though, less preferred by the older patient population who seemed to prefer pre-booked appointments.

This open access scheduling is a suitable method that meets the requirements and choices of diverse groups. This offers a more patient-centered approach to providing health care services especially for those who live in remote or rural areas.

How Porton suite of apps supports you.

The Porton Suite of Apps is a telehealth solution that offers a range of features to help health care providers streamline their administrative processes and improve patient care in a timely manner. This enables the health care providers to launch an online booking service that connects patients to their doctor’s schedule, making it easy for patients to book in-clinic or virtual appointments. This feature allows for patients to book, reschedule and cancel appointment without any administrative delay giving room for other patients to have access to available time slots. In the long run, this helps to improve patient access to care and reduce wait times for appointments.

Furthermore, the Porton Suite’s reminder function helps to eliminate no-shows by sending customized emails and SMS reminders to patients. This can save clinics and hospitals money and reduce the workload on administrative staff. Patients can also check themselves in online, which can further reduce the burden on staff and help to ensure a seamless patient experience.

Finally, doctors can use the Porton Suite to send secure messages and documents to patients directly through their EMR, facilitating clear and efficient communication between health care providers and patients. Overall, the Porton Suite of Apps offers a range of features that supports health care providers to improve efficiency, reduce administrative burden, and enhance patient care. This we believe will enhance your clinic to be a leader in timely health care.

To learn more about how the Porton Suite of Apps can benefit your clinic or hospital, you can visit our website at https://www.portonhealth.com. Here, you can book a free demo to see how our telehealth solutions can help to streamline your administrative processes and improve patient care.

Alternatively, you can email us at connect@portonhealth.com to learn more about our products and services. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have and provide you with more information about how our telehealth solutions can benefit your health care practice.

References:

https://bmchealthservres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12913-017-2219-y

https://www.cihi.ca/en/commonwealth-fund-survey-2016-infographic

https://www.fraserinstitute.org/studies/waiting-your-turn-wait-times-for-health-care-in-canada-2022

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