Quality Over Quantity
Updated: Nov 14
When was the last time you saw your primary care provider? How long did you spend with them? According to “Time Allocation in Primary Care Office Visits” published in the National Library of Medicine, healthcare patients in the U.S. spent an average of 17.4 minutes with their primary care provider. According to the same study, the average amount of time patients spent talking with their physician was around 5.3 minutes and the average amount of time a physician spent talking during any given appointment was 5.2 minutes. When it comes to summarizing a patient’s health, five minutes hardly seems sufficient- especially when patients are often only advised to see their physician annually.
A true “whole-person” approach to wellness requires adequate one-on-one time with a primary care provider. Patients of smaller primary care practices with only one or two physicians had upwards of 33% fewer preventable hospitalizations than patients of clinics with 10 to 15 physicians according to a 2014 study conducted by the American Academy of Family Physicians. Studies such as this one show that patients with access to the time necessary to build rapport with their provider were able to avoid needless medical crises; thus avoiding hefty hospital bills, long wait times, and unnecessary exposure to illness.
Patients who spend adequate time with their provider also report higher rates of comfortability, which is key when addressing intimate concerns. When physicians are made (mostly by health insurance reimbursement guidelines) to see dozens of patients per day on a restricted time budget, quality of care is lost. Patients are left with more questions than answers and physicians are unable to go into depth about the root causes behind these issues.
In the end, hospitals and big medical institutions wind up offering mainly short-term solutions, saddling patients with unnecessary prescriptions and medical debt before pushing them out the door. Our mission is to create an open and safe environment for patients to bring their concerns, questions, and goals to the table and leave with results. If we focus on root causes and prevention, many issues can be resolved before they even start. Not only will patients leave feeling their best, but they will leave feeling seen and heard by a provider they trust.
Wonder Medicine and our providers strive to provide our patients with the high-quality care they deserve. We focus on the cause of the problem and come up with solutions to help manage these issues instead of prescribing medications that can only put a band-aid on the root issue. When our patients invest in their health, Wonder Medicine invests with them.
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The State of Primary Care Physician Workforce: IDAHO (graham-center.org/content/dam/rgc/documents/maps-data-tools/state-collections/phys-workforce/Idaho.pdf)
Time Allocation in Primary Care Offices (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2254573/#:~:text=Average%20length%20of%20visits%20was,%2C%20and%20physician%2C%205.2%20minutes.)