There is an expected shortage of up to 55,200 primary care physicians to meet demand by 2033, according to a projection from 2018 by the American Association of Medical Colleges. But more patients said they’re already frustrated by the shortage.

“It was months out before I could get an appointment,” said Amy Lundberg, who had been looking for an annual physical appointment and works at a school in Bolton. “Then they called, and they’re like, ‘Oh, we can’t see you, because you haven’t been here in over three years.’ So now I need to find a new doctor.”

Lundberg said it took six months to get an appointment with a new primary care physician, who then referred her to an OB-GYN. The specialist diagnosed her with endometriosis, which had by then advanced to stage 4.

“And now I can’t have kids,” she said. “If I’d gone sooner, I may not have been, you know, where I’m at now.”

Patients like Lundberg are caught in economic crosswinds. More primary care physicians are retiring — burnout is a factor and demand outpaces supply with fewer medical students interested in primary care, in part because reimbursements are typically higher in specialty medicine.

Primary care physicians discussed with Connecticut Public how the “fee-for-service” model is keeping doctors away from the field, who prefer what’s called a “value-based” model.

But these are long-term problems requiring long-term solutions.

Tech firms are working on immediate solutions to ease the crisis by getting patients seen sooner by their doctor.

Hari Prasad, co-founder and CEO of Yosi Health, cited a McKinsey study that claimed 20% of physician appointments are wasted because of last-minute cancellations and no shows.

“If the solution can identify ahead of time that there’s about to be a cancellation, physicians can open up their schedule to other patients that are in line to get care,” Prasad said.

The most recent data from Merritt Hawkins showed that the average wait time for a physician appointment in 2022 is 26 days, up from 20.9 days in 2004.

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How do we unlock the full potential of telehealth?

The healthcare industry is witnessing a remarkable transformation in the way medical care is delivered. Telehealth, a concept once considered futuristic, has now become an integral part of the healthcare landscape, in large part due to its wide use and adoption during the pandemic.

Despite its revolutionizing impact on patient access and streamlining practice operations, telehealth remains underused in primary care.In fact, according to a 2021 study, over half of office-based physicians provided care via telemedicine for fewer than 25% of patient visits, and less than 20% of physicians used telemedicine for more than 50% of patient visits.

That lack of adoption means many outpatient primary care doctors are missing out on the demonstrated benefits of telehealth, such as reducing the need for in-office visits, easing the burden on the administrative staff, and providing unrivalled convenience for patients.

Several factors contribute to this underutilization:

Resistance to change: Many healthcare practitioners are accustomed to the traditional in-person consultation model and may be hesitant to adopt new technologies.

Regulatory challenges: Varying state regulations and insurance reimbursement policies have posed hurdles for healthcare providers seeking to implement telehealth services. The evolving regulatory landscape has created uncertainty and slowed adoption.

Technological barriers: While telehealth technology is more accessible than ever, some practices may lack the necessary infrastructure or expertise to integrate these solutions seamlessly into their workflows.

Patient reluctance: Some patients, especially older adults, may struggle with or be reluctant to use technology for their medical appointments. This has led to concerns about patient engagement and satisfaction in telehealth encounters.

For outpatient primary care doctors, embracing remote engagement technology offers an array of benefits that go beyond the immediate necessity of virtual visits. These benefits reshape the way practices operate and improve patient care:

Reduced in-office visits: Telehealth technology allows physicians to conduct routine check-ins, follow-ups, and consultations virtually, reducing the need for patients to visit the clinic for non-critical issues. This not only saves patients time but also frees up valuable clinic slots for more critical cases.

Streamlined workflow: By incorporating telehealth into their practice, doctors can optimize their schedule, reducing wait times for patients during in-person visits. This efficiency benefits both patients and staff, enhancing overall practice productivity and patient satisfaction.

Enhanced patient engagement: Telehealth offers patients a more flexible means of accessing medical care, leading to increased engagement. Patients are more likely to seek medical advice promptly when it’s easily accessible, leading to better management of chronic conditions and improved health outcomes.

Remote monitoring and chronic disease management: Telehealth enables continuous remote monitoring of patients with chronic conditions. This real-time data collection allows doctors to make informed decisions about treatment adjustments, reducing the need for frequent in-person visits.

Integrated care: Telehealth solutions can facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration among healthcare providers, enhancing care coordination. Primary care doctors can more easily consult with specialists, share patient information, and collectively make informed decisions.

Patient convenience: The convenience of telehealth appointments cannot be overstated. Patients can consult with their doctors from the comfort of their homes, eliminating travel time, waiting room discomfort, and associated stress. These patients report positive experiences on evaluation surveys.

Reduced burden on office staff: Doctors rely so much on their administrative support teams that losing any member impacts a practice’s productivity. Because telehealth significantly reduces the administrative burden associated with managing in-person appointments, office staff can stay focused on other critical tasks and experience less stress because of it.

As healthcare delivery continues to evolve, medical practices are well advised to embrace contemporary consumer behavior. Telehealth technology is an untapped gold mine for primary care doctors, offering enhanced patient care, streamlined operations, and reshaping the doctor-patient relationship.

While challenges such as regulatory complexities and technological barriers persist, the benefits far outweigh the hurdles. By embracing telehealth technology and leveraging its value, outpatient primary care doctors can truly revolutionize their care workflows, supporting their desire to deliver patient-centered, efficient, and accessible health care.

But incorporating telehealth is more than just an adaptation to the changing times; it’s an opportunity to thrive in a dynamic consumer-centric healthcare landscape. As the industry continues to witness the transformational power of technology, telehealth is a beacon of innovation, bridging the gap between patients and healthcare providers while ensuring the highest standards of medical care.

Hari Prasad is the co-founder and CEO of Yosi Health.

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How to Choose the Right Patient Engagement Platform

Why the Safety of Your Patient Data Should be Paramount 

Patient engagement platforms are increasingly popular as healthcare providers look for ways to better engage, communicate,  and create better experiences for their patients. These platforms provide a range of benefits, including improving patient outcomes, reducing healthcare costs, reducing staff and provider burnout, and increasing patient satisfaction. However, there is a legitimate growing concern that some of these platforms are selling patient data to advertisers, raising serious privacy concerns.

Data privacy is a stalwart of the patient’s administrative journey and its security is becoming increasingly important and under elevated scrutiny as more and more of it is collected and stored electronically. This data includes highly sensitive information such as patient names, addresses, medical histories, and insurance information. This information is extremely valuable,  to advertisers who want to target their products and services to specific demographics, such as people with certain medical conditions. 

Unfortunately, some patient engagement platforms are selling this data to third-party advertisers, often without the patient’s knowledge or consent. This information is so valuable that it often represents the lion’s share of a patient engagement platforms revenue often superseding the revenue generated by subscription fees.  It’s not uncommon that most practices have no idea how much money is being made off their patient’s data if at all. This has raised concerns among privacy advocates who are concerned about the misuse of this data. 

Patients trust their healthcare providers with their most sensitive and personal information, and any breach of that trust can have serious repercussions. If patients find out that their healthcare provider is using a patient engagement platform that sells their data to advertisers, this can lead to a loss in trust and have a negative impact on the reputation and ultimately the bottom line of the practice.

In addition to having a legal and ethical responsibility healthcare providers want to protect their patient’s privacy and data.

How can you protect your patient data?

If you see phrases like “educational content”, “life sciences”, or concepts like informing the patients about “treatment options” or the like it’s a good idea to gain absolute clarity on the relationship that your patient data plays on how that content is delivered to your patients. It’s also necessary to find out who is providing the content. 

Unlike many other patient engagement platforms, Yosi Health does not sell patient data to any third parties. They are absolutely committed to protecting the privacy and security of their patients’ information. They use advanced encryption and security measures to ensure that patient data is safe and secure at all times.

In addition to their commitment to privacy and security, Yosi Health offers a range of features that make it easy for patients to manage their healthcare needs. This includes features such as appointment scheduling, secure messaging, and digital check-in. With Yosi Health, patients can easily and safely complete their intake paperwork and communicate with their healthcare providers from the comfort of their own home.

Choosing a platform like Yosi Health that prioritizes patient privacy and security will help healthcare providers build trust with their patients and demonstrate their commitment to protecting patient data. Ultimately, protecting patient privacy should be a top priority for healthcare providers, and using the right patient engagement platform is an essential step in achieving that goal.

Find out more about how Yosi Health is improving the patient experience while protecting their health data. 

Contact us 866-561-9674, or visit

Micro MD patient engagement software

Yosi Health is proud to integrate into Henry Schein Medical’s SolutionsHub, where it will help meet patient expectations for quick, contactless visits. Our patient engagement software helps connect your practice to the complete patient journey, allowing you to focus on patient care. Aside from more satisfied patients, Yosi Health helps to:

  • Reduce patient wait times and no-shows 
  • Increase revenue
  • Eliminate staff burdens 

The Patient Journey: A Great End-to-End Experience

The quality of the patient journey influences your patients’ perceptions of your practice. If the start-to-finish experience isn’t satisfying, or if the patient becomes frustrated during the process, your practice’s approval rating will suffer. Yosi Health helps prevent this by offering: 

  1. Scheduling: Patients begin by scheduling their appointment in real-time right through your website. Once scheduled, your patient will instantly receive a text and email prompting them to complete their intake paperwork before arrival.
  2. Intake and Check-in: The intake paperwork includes the patient’s ID, insurance, and required signatures for forms. The intake forms are completely customizable for your practice.
  3. Two-Way Text: Consumers prefer to communicate via text message, and a significant portion of text messages are read within the first three minutes. With Yosi’s two-way text communication, your patients will receive appointment confirmation and reminders in this highly-preferred format.
  4. Payments: The patient will also be able to pay any outstanding balances or co-pays using a PCI Compliant platform which increases your collection rates by up to 20 percent.
  5. Patient Surveys and Reviews: As more consumers turn to online ratings, the online reviews for your practice hold a greater weight. Enhance your reputation by automating communication to collect patient feedback.

Streamline Your Practice

Optimizing the patient journey for comfort and simplicity is key to improving the patient experience. Yosi Health’s patient experience software gives power to the patients, enabling them to schedule appointments, complete paperwork, stay informed, make payments, and leave reviews, all from the comfort of their phones. With Yosi, you can begin improving the patient experience and streamline your practice today.