The practice of medicine and patient care is under siege from forces within, and outside of, the current healthcare delivery model. The current healthcare climate in the United States is eroding the most important element in patient care – the physician-patient relationship. Private practices being bought out by big hospital systems and venture capital groups has left the market with unincentivized physicians, who are increasingly less able to accommodate their patients. The fragmented patient care model has resulted in an extremely inefficient and expensive system—driving patients away from their primary care providers and into the hands of emergency rooms and urgent care facilities who are able to accommodate the sheer volume of patients needing care.
The problem is, these settings are impersonal—the patient does not have an established relationship with the physician, and the physician has no access to their medical records. Thus, the quality of care is insufficient. One proposed solution that has long been in practice by physicians for a select few of their patients is concierge medicine. Many of my colleagues and I have offered this service during and after hours. However, providing this luxury care to our patients comes at a high personal cost: major disruption of daytime activities and sleeping hours, unreimbursed care, and assumed liability for that care. Clearly, for doctors and patients alike, a new and improved solution is, and has been, in order.
The patient needs a solution that allows 24/7 access to their primary care provider or to a physician that their doctor has designated as an outstanding physician capable of providing care to their patient when they are unavailable. The solution must overcome the inconveniences of office or ER visits—driving to the facility, missing work, finding childcare, long wait times and delays in obtaining appointments. The patient needs a solution that creates convenient, affordable access to their physician by merging the cutting-edge technology of the day with concierge medicine. This solution should allow for access to the patients’ medical records for a higher level of care continuity, and provide patients access to an entire network of primary care physicians and specialists.
To fulfill these patient needs, physicians also demand certain requirements of this proposed healthcare solution. The doctor needs an affordable solution that is simple to implement and efficient to use. For doctors, the solution must allow for easy documentation of the visit and integrate into their electronic medical records and scheduling system. A solution that allows for 24/7 patient access to the doctor and their covering call partners. Doctors, including my colleagues and myself, need a solution that creates payment for the transaction of care and the provision of “intellectual property”—the knowledge base and skill sets that they have dedicated most of their professional lives to developing.
The solution that patients and doctors alike have been waiting for is Carie™. Carie™ is a virtual care platform that has transformed the delivery of healthcare into a more efficient and economical system by providing the ideal virtual care solutions that meet both the patient and physician needs, thereby strengthening the physician-patient relationship. The platform is HIPAA-compliant and uses state of the art mobile and broadband technology to integrate into the physician’s practice and provide the physician with the ability to offer around-the-clock virtual care to their patients. In my experience, after implementing the Carie™ system into my practice, many patients have chosen—and loved—the convenience of the virtual visit.
The thoughtfully conceived platform has been able to overcome the barriers in our current healthcare delivery model by providing a solution that merges the common interests of doctors and patients, and reversing the increased costs and fragmented care delivery into which our system is eroding.