General Practice A-Z: After Hours; Combating “Dr Google”

After hours

 

As the rise of “Dr. Google” continues, GPs and services providers need to consider ways to combat this by meeting patients’ needs and providing a better patient experience.  Just as Uber has revolutionised the taxi industry for operator and riders, technological advances threaten to disrupt primary care services.

After hours work is a contentious issue – practices want to offer more services after hours, but most GPs have little interest in working these shifts.  At the same time, most households now have both adults working full-time and there is very few stay at home mums. Being able to visit a GP after-hours meets the needs of many patients which is likely to provide a better experience for them and reduce their reliance on Dr Google. Face-to-face consultations are one of the main advantages GPs offer over Dr Google, so facilitating this at a time that is convenient for patients (before or after work) is critical – otherwise, some patients have little choice but to rely on Dr Google.

There are a few other reasons to consider providing after-hours services:

Top earners in Australia do after-hours

Most of Australia’s top earners will attribute their success to working in the after-hours. Not only does it give GPs access to a greater patient database, there are extra incentives under the MBS for Urgent Attendances in the after-hours.

Enjoy “9 to 5” activities

GPs tell us that one of the best perks about working in the after-hours roster is being able to do things they wouldn’t ordinarily get to do working standard business hours. Whether it be breakfast out at a café with a partner during the week or partaking in school activities with the kids, there are always little perks to having a weekday morning free. We have even heard from a GP who was thrilled to be able to get to the post office to pick up eBay purchases during their trading hours!

Be part of a harmonious team

When everyone in the GP team is contributing equally to the after-hours roster, there is less dissension within the group. The patient base is shared and everyone is contributing equally.

Want to keep your patients offline and loyal to you? You may want to consider some after-hours services.