There more health care options than ever before, as an increasing number of urgent care centers and minute clinics open to keep up with patient demands.
Primary care practices must distinguish their services as medical home providers to compete and also adopt expanded office hours with available walk-in times in the daily schedule to compete with these emerging services.
Serota’s practice offers additional weeknight and Saturday hours for patient convenience, and has started renting office space within their practice for other health-care professionals to offer supportive care services for their patients. These include lactation consultation, nutrition, psychology, and weight management services.
“Patients like one-stop shopping. If you have a lot of services available within your practice, patients will be more likely to follow up with your recommendations for support services,” Serota said. “They tend to be more compliant when everything can be accomplished during one visit.”
Nurse practitioners are particularly well suited to the offering comprehensive health care, as it is part of their training and nursing background and education.
“Team nursing has been part of the profession since Florence Nightingale. Medicine is just now realizing that valuable collaboration between health-care professionals is necessary and vital to provide comprehensive health care for patients and families,” Serota said.
By 2025, the CDC projects a deficiency of approximately 45,000 primary care physicians. Nurse practitioners are especially qualified to perform most of the usual primary health care needs, and know when to refer patients to specialists.
“Eventually, primary care will probably be more nurse practitioner oriented and will utilize physician colleagues more as collaborators,” Serota said. “Patients really do appreciate having a provider who knows them, who knows their history and who cares about them. It’s about conveying a certain level of concern for patients and following through and making sure that they’re doing well.”