- On 30/09/2016
Adopting the ‘Future Practice’ model is not only about building a sustainable general practice, it’s about offering a service your patients want.
As part of the Future Practice project, AMA (NSW) commissioned Essential Media Communications to ask patients to describe a “dream GP experience”.
Here’s what their research told us:
The ability to quickly and easily make an appointment (either online or over the phone) for the same day.
Receive a text that confirms the appointment time (and alerts you if the doctor is running late).
Arrive five minutes early, and be told the GP is running on time.
Wait in a comfortable, bright, clean waiting room that has current, high quality magazines.
See a GP at the appointed time for a relaxed, unrushed, thorough, friendly chat – this includes a lot of ‘back and forth’ about your concerns and issues.
Leave the appointment confidently knowing the next steps, your treatment, what your issues are and how to deal with them.
Head to reception where the receptionist has all paperwork ready, pay by EFT with an automatic refund from Medicare.
The good news is most aspects of “the dream experience” are already being offered at many practices across NSW. And it is these innovations that the Future Practice project seeks to harness.
- Online bookings and appointment alerts, longer consultations, integration of services and streamlined billing systems are emerging as the backbone of these modern practices.
- The public is open to paying an appropriate fee for those who can afford it, especially for longer consultations, providing those in need retain access to services.
- They are open on whether a practice is a smaller group practice or a larger corporate practice, provided the service fundamentals are in place.
They also reaffirmed the need to have a relationship with a practice, so there is a continuity of care, with many still retaining ties with the practice they used as a child.
Looking to the future, most people believe they will continue to rely on a single GP for complex issues, while accessing larger corporate chains for more routine issues.
Practice manager Cathy Baynie says the findings show that patients are picking and choosing GPs based on healthcare needs and that the practices that thrive will recognise this and provide a better patient experience.
This is the exciting part of these findings – the public is ready for a new GP experience and the opportunity is there for practices to deliver services that build loyalty and demonstrate value for money.
Practices that can adapt to these challenges have a bright future – and AMA (NSW) is excited about sharing the wins across the profession so that we have more and more success stories.
Are you providing the Dream GP Experience?
Future Practice and the AMA NSW have developed a web tool to quickly and easily test the long-term financial sustainability of your practice. Check your practice now: