American healthcare services are undergoing a sea change, thanks in part to health laws and shifting population demographics. In response, health professionals are adopting new delivery methods that leverage new technologies and systems to better meet patient needs.
Holistic Care Plans
It's no secret that patients' habits and lifestyle choices impact their health. With this in mind, some doctors are turning to a model that encourages holistic healthcare services. Instead of dealing with the problem, these doctors address the underlying causes by recommending support groups, checking in at difficult times, and using a team of health workers and nurse practitioners to deal with everything from food choices to exercise habits. In addition to preventative care, doctors may also connect with a patient's mental-health professional to create a complete care plan.
For people with busy schedules, it can be difficult to get to the doctor's office during operating hours. To solve this problem, some doctors are opting for a digital model. Using healthcare services such as HealthTap and Babylon Health, patients can meet with a doctor using a phone, tablet or computer. HealthTap allows users to text, call or video chat with their health provider. Both services also offer an artificial intelligence system that walks patients through symptoms for safer self-diagnosis. As these options become more common and affordable, patients can report concerns when they occur and catch health issues early.
As a significant percentage of the American population ages, healthcare services are becoming increasingly personalized. To accommodate elderly patients and people with poor immune systems, doctors and nurse practitioners are beginning to utilize in-home care. Instead of requiring older persons to travel to the hospital and sit in the waiting room — thereby exposing them to germs and viruses — some services are sending healthcare professionals to the patients' homes. There, they can perform outpatient procedures and ensure that the living situation is conducive to good health. In the process, medical offices can reduce readmission rates and keep patients healthier for longer.
Wait times at hospitals, as well as long delays in appointment booking, can deter patients from seeing a doctor when needed. Concierge medicine is one potential solution. In return for a monthly fee, patients gain around-the-clock access to their doctor to ask questions or seek guidance navigating health issues. When an in-person meeting is necessary, most of these retainer-based healthcare services guarantee an appointment within 24 hours. The major benefit of concierge medicine is the chance for patients to build a relationship with their primary care doctor — as a result, the healthcare provider is better able to make personalized recommendations and encourage preventative measures.
As the medical landscape in the United States shifts, changes are inevitable. By keeping up-to-date on the latest developments in healthcare services, you can find the options that keep you informed and help you maintain long-term health.
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