The average patient waits 29 to 66 days for specialist consultations, and at least six days for primary care physicians. Lucrative procedures have shorter wait times, proving that the problem has less to do with overworked doctors than it does with profits and planning. The days or months patients wait to be seen to can be catastrophic for obvious reasons. They have a measurable effect on mortality rates, but there are less overt effects.
- Dissatisfied patients tend to be less communicative with their doctors, which can influence the accuracy of their diagnoses.
- It takes longer for patients to move from testing to diagnosis and treatment, which often means protracted suffering.
- Patients may become dismissive of some of their symptoms as they get used to living with them, so doctors will receive a less-than-adequate picture to form their diagnosis.
- During wait times, patients can become ineligible for the best treatments for their illnesses. Or, their insurance coverage might change.
On the surface, it can seem as though the problem is caused by a doctor shortage, but when you wade through the figures, it appears that’s an inadequate explanation. The problem seems to be caused by a poor distribution of staff. Doctors are relied on heavily, while mid-level assistants, nurses, and time-saving technology remain underused.
This is good news if you’re a proactive patient, because it gives you an idea of what to look for in the clinics you use. Automated digital support should be given to connect with you and ensure you’re sticking to your suggested treatments, because this frees up staff to focus on patient care. Same-day appointments result from a high level of organization; gone are the days when patients could judge the quality of care by the length of the waiting list.
No patient needs to accept inferior standards of care. Pain Stop Clinics work towards giving you genuine quality of life by providing for you responsibly.