What Is Micropractice?
Micropractice or what some call an ideal medical clinic or medical home, believes primary care is best delivered in the context of a continuous and collaborative doctor - patient relationship, fostering comprehensive and personalised care. In the age of limited health care dollars and increasing clinical demands, meeting these competing agendas is difficult. However, micropractice is one way to bridge this gap. Unlike traditional medical offices, in a micropractice staff, facilities and equipment are minimised, thereby, directing resources back to the patient and provider. Further, technology, such as an online scheduler and secure electronic messaging, removes third person disruptions, improves efficiency, access and communication for both parties. Think back to days gone by when a patient knew the doctor well and the doctor knew the patient well. The major difference, the integration of technology and resource prioritisation to increase sustainability and longevity.
A micropractice model creates space for not only the science but the art of medicine. If you ask anyone who has ever relied on the health care system they will be the first to tell you, the “art” of medicine is the difference between being treated like a person versus a number. The difference between a correct prescription or diagnosis and one that contains an error. The difference between being heard rather than dismissed. The difference between a busy, rushed office and a medical home. If patients and providers are to be healthier, happier and more successful, primary care needs to be delivered differently and micropractise is one such way. Willow Family Medicine is proud to be on the forefront of this change.
There is no reception desk. A health-care provider greets patients seated in the comfortable waiting room. Here they can enjoy a cup of tea. Demographics, height, weight and blood pressure are updated by the patient.
Time is valuable. A micropractice prioritises running on time. If patients are late, they may have to re-book and/or a charge will apply. Patients are counselled to allow a 15 minute buffer due to the unpredictable nature of medicine. An automated phone, email or text message reminder is sent to a patient 48 hours prior to their appointment offering both a cancellation and confirmation option. As a result, “No Shows” are reduced to less than 1% of total office visits.
Each provider attends to their own phone messages and emails, limiting third party confusion. Email is the main method of communication for administrative concerns. Much quicker than phone, however, medical issues are only addressed in-person. Administrative assistant support is reserved for tasks technology cannot address and has minimal involvement with patients as providers attend to these concerns directly.
A micropractice cares for a limited number of patients to ensure appointments are available when needed. When not possible, our micropractice is affiliated with The Leduc Beaumont Devon After Hours Clinic. Further, providers reserve same day, semi-urgent appointments for those unpredictable concerns.
Comprehensive primary care is multifaceted. Acute issues exist along side preventative priorities and administrative necessities. To accommodate, longer appointments are offered, typically 20 to 30 minutes. During this time, history taking, physical exam, charting, paper work and documentation is completed. Doing today’s work today. This allows providers to practice in a comprehensive fashion, all the while, having time to satisfy the other less pressing but equally important practice management tasks.
Patients visit the same provider every appointment, fostering familiarity. Evidence shows this reduces error and improves health outcomes as well as, increases provider practice enjoyment.
Quick, convenient and easy to use. Almost ll appointments are booked online. This is faster for patients and reduces office expenses, allowing resource redirection to the patient experience. For those unable to do so, appointments can be done via phone. However, very few elect for this option.
Instead of telephone calls, patients will receive a secure email via Medeo for administrative concerns. Another example of resource reallocation and improved communication channels.
No drop-ins of patients or visitors. Semi-urgent appointments are available upon request. This policy allows for the control of office traffic, ensuring the small space remains comfortable and functional.
The micropractice journey can be immensely rewarding, however, also daunting at times, especially in the beginning. If you are a health care provider interested in embarking on this journey or looking to streamline your office efficiency and/or introduce technology into your practice, Dr. MacGregor is passionate about sharing her experience. This mentorship can be obtained both in person, such as an office shadowing experience and/or discussion, or by phone or video conference. Please contact Dr. MacGregor by email for further information on pricing and availability of her services.