25 June 2006

US doctors trying to do things better: can locals learn from them?

The New York Times has an interesting article about some US doctors who are trying to adapt their practices to the current world.

The adaptations include
  • greater use of the internet for scheduling appointments and, in some instances, for online consultations; and
  • greater use of nurses to carry out tests such as blood pressure.
I am on the whole very satisfied with the standard of service I receive from the doctors I've consulted in the last few years, both GP and specialist, though I think consideration should be given to introducing more of these changes in Australia, and also
  • giving advance notice of what a particular consultation will cost and how it relates to Medicare scheduled fees;
  • extending the period for which a GP's referral to a specialist operates from one year to, say, five;
  • more transparency from anaesthestists about their qualifications, experience, daily work levels and fees.

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