General Practice is a wonderful career. It evokes enough emotion that doctors write books about it. Dr. Liam Farrell’s “Are you the Fxxcking Doctor?” is a selection of the author’s best stories of a doctor at the coal face. Dr. Lucia Gannon’s “All in a Doctor’s Day: Memoirs of an Irish Country Practice” tells how life is for the country doctor and what it’s like being privy to the intimate details of our patient’s lives.
Despite how wonderful the job of a GP is we have a crisis. Almost 30% of our workforce is near retirement and GP’s up and down the breadth of Ireland are searching for help.
There is no army of new GP’s coming over the horizon.
If you are lucky you might see one and you’ll be even more lucky to get them to work with you. We have an aging population with complex health needs and a deficit of GP’s leading to a huge workload.
The most important thing a GP has is time. If we consider that our time is broken into 10-15-minute appointments, then we cannot scale this to the population who need us.
The accepted model of care in General Practice until now has been synchronous care e.g. face to face consultations, telephone consultations or video consultations.
What is General Practice but 2 people communicating. How do humans communicate now? In 2019 the most common method of communication was asynchronous using text and email via a veritable trove of apps. Asynchronous digital communication is now ubiquitous.
We can harness digital communication for general practice because not everything has to be a face to face consultation anymore. Asynchronous communication frees up time for the patients that need more of our time e.g. being able to do the house visit to a centenarian patient.
We should remember that 66% of the world’s population are millennials and generation z. They are digital natives. 73% of them go online rather than go to the doctor. They are driving the business of the online doctor who picks the low hanging fruit.
Asynchronous care needs to be coordinated for both doctor and patient or it falls apart. One needs a single platform for use that provides all the functionality needed for modern day communication in just one place. MyClinic365 is built for this purpose.
If we want to stay relevant, we need to engage these younger generations with primary care.
Using digital asynchronous communication, we can scale, be accessible and remain sane.