An exciting concept in modern healthcare has emerged over the last ten years, with physicians and patients turning to a more integrated approach in the ways people provide and receive medical care. This concept often referred to as concierge, retainer or boutique medicine, is grounded in the belief that physicians and patients deserve to have better relationships, more quality time and fewer obstacles in order to provide the best quality of healthcare available utilizing today’s modern techniques, technologies and advances. According to Concierge Medicine Today, the number of these practices across the country is growing around 7 percent per year. Here are some of the reasons why.
The relationship between patient and physician is built on trust and understanding; it’s the single most important factor in patient care. In standard medical practices, the quality of this relationship takes a back seat to the “checklist” approach of seeing patients- vitals, weight, blood work, maybe a question or two. In a concierge practice, such as Dedication Health, physicians and patients get to know each other; there is an established rapport; there is open and ongoing dialogue, and there is a mutual understanding that this is a partnership with one goal in mind- achieving your best health.
“The majority of physicians who decide to go into concierge medicine do so because of the inadequate time allowed with patients that is inherent in standard medical practices,” states John E. Croghan, MD, co-founder of Dedication Health. “At Dedication Health, we know our patients, their medical histories and their goals for overall health and well-being. Their concerns are our concerns; together, we work towards achieving those goals today and for the future.”
According to estimates by the American College of Physicians (ACP), the average doctor does two hours of administrative work for every hour spent engaging with patients. In a concierge medicine practice, obstacles such as heavy administrative work are eliminated; physicians spend the majority of their time with patients, not paper. With a membership model such as Dedication Health’s, members pay an annual fee which entitles them to convenient appointments, 24/7 text, email or cell phone access to a physician, medication reconciliation and an on-site, certified lab with same-day results. The time a patient spends in-person with his or her physician is not quantified or timed. It is need-based; however long or short a patient needs to have with their physician is exactly what they receive.
Each person or patient requires a different level or style of care, depending on the specific health needs, personalities, lifestyles or medical history. Some of those requirements can be complicated or multi-faceted, requiring careful oversight or management. Whatever the degree of medical care a patient needs, in a concierge practice such as Dedication Health, the focus is always on the whole patient; care is comprehensive. With a complete approach that combines modern medicine with the feel of a personal, family physician, physicians in a concierge practice are able to achieve a deeper understanding of a patient’s health history, current medical needs and recommend preventative measures for the future. Any additional medical care, such as specialist consults, in-hospital care or advanced diagnostic testing is personally arranged for by your concierge physician. Care goes beyond your office visit; your physician sees to it.