You wake up feeling like you might have the flu or you become sick to your stomach at work. Sounding pitiful as possible, you call your doctor’s office, hoping they can squeeze you in right away. It could be that you’d like to check in for a chronic medical conditionand wish you didn’t have to wait.
Good luck with that, though, particularly if you’re a new patient. Appointment wait times are on the rise, according to a 2017 survey by a national physician search firm. Patients wait an average of 24 days for a new physician appointment in major metropolitan areas, and 32 days in mid-sized areas, according to the Merritt Hawkins survey.
However, you just might be in luck. Some medical practices now offer same-day appointments on request. There doesn’t need to be an emergency and you don’t have to be acutely ill. Here’s how three U.S. health care providers make it happen.
Convenience and Continuity
It’s Tuesday and Dr. Todd Furness of Lone Peak Family Medicine has seen seven last-minute patients in addition to previously scheduled arrivals. Several months ago, his practice, located in the south Salt Lake Valley area of Utah, extended its office hours and made staffing tweaks to accommodate same-day patients.
On this shift, two same-day patients come in with flu symptoms. For the flu, Furness says, it’s best for patients to be seen as soon as possible for treatment to be…Read More