According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) work force projections, nationwide physician shortages are predicted to reach 91,500 by the year 2020. Multiply that by the average number of patients under a given doctor’s care (somewhere between 700 and 1700) and the result is an immense patient base with unmet healthcare needs, particularly in rural areas. Additionally, doctor shortages will likely increase wait time for patients, shorten length of appointments, and increase number of ER visits by those who do not have medical homes. However, technology could offer solutions, especially through the development of telemedicine programs. “Complex changes such as improving efficiency, reconfiguring the way some services are delivered and making better use of our physicians will also be needed.” says the AAMC. And solutions like this are already popping up. For example, take the new technology healthcare company Clear MD. Using an online platform, Clear MD connects providers and patients through short, clear, single topic videos.
Innovative, creative tools like this will become increasingly useful as we deal with future physician shortages. So will setting up strong telehealth networks within our healthcare systems. For providers and patients alike, it may seem complicated to start using telemedicine. However by following a few simple steps the process can be straightforward and easy- and the effort is guaranteed to be worth it. gpTRAC offers a number of guides and resources to assist organizations and individuals in this process. Here are few of them: Getting Started: Planning Ahead, Best Practices for Sucess, Studies Reports and White Papers, and our Resource Toolkit. Additional questions? Contact us at 888-239-7092.