Twenty minutes goes fast. Really fast.
So fast, in fact, that in the blink of a eye 20 minutes will vanish in the course of an already busy day. It takes a lot to stay on schedule in 20 minute increments, and only a little to throw a string of 20 minute time slots completely off course. (Pee fast!)
Welcome to the life of a physician who begins her day knowing there’s a very high probability her timeliness will derail halfway through the morning.
In a recent article published on Business Insider, “Dr. Tardy” outlines part of her day, giving examples of the types of patients she sees and the time it takes to care for them well. Through the interruptions, mishaps, and even some unexpected generous gaps to make up for lost time, she demonstrates that real patient care can’t be scheduled in 20 minute slots.
Dr. Tardy explains that she tries her hardest to “do the right thing for her patients, tries to take the time to listen without making them feel rushed.” And maybe that’s true. But what if she didn’t have to try so hard? Think how different her day would be if she knew she had 45 minutes (at least!) with each patient. If, when she needed to call a patient to explain the urgency behind an impending trip to the ER, that call wasn’t interfering with her next patient.
Hmmm… Dr. Tardy needs to be introduced to Direct Primary Care, where patient care is put above all else. The thing is, traditional medical practices say that, too – that patients come first. At the end of the day, actions speak louder than words, which is why the DPC business model is built around patient care rather than patients being squeezed into an impossibly tight schedule in a feeble attempt to keep their doors open.
In a world where a patient being 15 minutes late doesn’t derail the day, Dr. Tardy could change her name to Dr. Timely.