Being a pediatrician or pediatric nurse practitioner and caring for children is rewarding, yet hard. In addition to doing what we signed up for – providing acute, chronic, preventive, and behavioral care to thousands of young patients, while following evidence-based guidelines and recommendations – we are also expected to track quality, report metrics, and lead successful operations. This demands business skills in which we are largely untrained to perform and that require having a voice in everything from staffing issues and provider retention, to patient satisfaction and balance sheets.
In the last decade, two additional (and significant) challenges have been added to the ‘already-too-long’ list of things pediatric clinicians must think about and that threaten our ability to deliver quality care, while remaining financially viable:
- Understanding how we can keep our own patients in the pediatric medical home to support continuity of care, improved outcomes, and patient retention; and
- Meeting the modern healthcare consumers’ demand for easy, anytime access to medical services that often compete with primary care.
In this white paper, we’ll explore the current situation from both the patient and provider perspectives. We will also clarify the challenge and dig into solutions that support success in each of these areas, for both practice-based and hospital-based physicians.
The Patient Perspective
Today’s healthcare consumers want – and increasingly demand – easy access to healthcare. Younger consumers in particular, including the Millennial parents that pediatricians serve each and every day, say convenience is a key to their satisfaction, even if it means utilizing non-traditional care channels and only considering providers who offer digital capabilities.
“Millennial parents are our new target market,” says Colleen Kraft, MD, MBA, FAAP, President, American Academy of Pediatrics in the August 2018 issue of AAP News. “According to the Pew Research Center, this demographic is set to become the largest segment of our population in 2019. And soon, they will be making the bulk of purchasing decisions when it comes to pediatric care. Their expectations are different than previous generations. They want to receive personalized care when and where they want it (a shift that already has taken place in other industries like banking and transportation). And they don’t want to coordinate their schedule around their physician’s schedule.”