A new health facility will rise in Texas as University Health has bought land estimated to be 70 acres, located across the University of Texas A&M San Antonio’s entrance, according to a report on News4SanAntonio. Accessing healthcare services on the Southside has been a pressing issue for a long time. However, a new health facility could improve that lack of accessible medical care. Health Collaborative director Elizabeth Lutz said that the one complaint you often hear from residents in the Southside is that they have to travel long distances into the city to get medical care.
According to Bexar County Commissioner Rebeca Clay-Flores, residents of Precinct One shouldn’t travel for more than 40 minutes across town to receive the medical care they need. While University Health officials haven’t come up with a timeline for the construction, the new facility can’t come soon enough considering the growth of the Southside. In addition to adding new health facilities, below are a few ways to improve healthcare access, including how people access lab results.
Availability is one of the most crucial elements of effective healthcare access. Ideally, patients need timely access to medical services during and after office hours. They are also entitled to same-day appointments, access to specialized care, and improved lab technologies that speed up access to test results. Unfortunately, many patients cannot see a physician when they need treatment. To ensure medical services are accessible to all, healthcare providers should consider team-based care. Most providers who opt for team-based care bring non-physicians into their practice and support them in maximizing their knowledge and skills.
Supporting doctor’s assistants and nurses to enhance their practice is a sure way to increase the number of hospital appointments. Nonetheless, practitioners should combine team-based medical care with patient education. Doing so helps boost patient confidence in different practitioners, thus boosting healthcare access.
Improve Appointment Scheduling
Streamlining patient scheduling doesn’t boost healthcare access only, but also the overall patient experience. Some of the best ways to improve appointment scheduling include automation, self-patient scheduling for rescheduling appointments, and using appointment reminders to confirm appointments via call, text, or email. This option is ideal for busy practices like dermatology as it reduces the number of no-shows, which can be inconvenient and costly.
However, hospitals and ambulatory clinics should choose appointment reminder apps with bidirectional functionalities to achieve the best outcomes when confirming patient appointments. Doing so fosters two-way communication with patients. For example, let’s say you’re a dermatologist with tons of dermatology appointments in San Antonio. Your appointment reminder app should allow patients to text you back or reply to emails when you send messages to confirm their appointment.
Investing in telehealth is another excellent way healthcare providers can make medical care accessible to everyone. With the help of electronic health information and telecommunication technologies, like videoconferencing, doctors can quickly provide healthcare services virtually. In addition to breaking geographical barriers, telehealth offers numerous benefits like cost savings, eliminates the need to travel far to seek medical attention, and boosts patient-doctor trust.
There’s no doubt adding a new facility is key to improving healthcare access to consumers. However, healthcare providers should implement other strategies to ensure medical care is easily accessible. This includes ensuring doctors are available, prioritizing quick and easy appointment scheduling, and using telehealth to boost timeless health care.