One of the primary attractions of the direct care practice (DPC) model for independent physicians is that they are able to spend more time with each patient instead of collecting co-pays or billing insurance companies. In a DPC practice, patients pay a membership fee, usually on a monthly basis, which covers all of the basic services provided by the primary care physician. The model is relatively simple, resulting in reduced overhead costs and increased quality time with patients.
DPCs do need tools to help them with maintaining patient records, communicating with patients and other providers, and billing for those membership fees, however. Rob Lamberts, MD, offers some suggestions for the best online tools for DPCs, including Elation Health’s electronic health record (EHR) system, which he uses for his practice.
Dr. Lamberts states one of his favorite things about the DPC practice model is that he is able to chart “for patient care, not billing,” which to him is “quite liberating.” When choosing online tools for an independent physician’s DPC practice, he recommends looking for:
- Reasonable cost
- Ease of input
- Ease of finding important information
In a DPC, the focus is on patient care. An online tool that enables the provider to input and review patient information with one click gives that provider more time spent with each patient. Elations’ EHR solution gives providers what they need to quickly and easily chart visit notes, write prescriptions, and review other providers’ input, including lab results and diagnoses.
Before each patient visit, the independent physician using Elation’s EHR has the tools available to stay organized and find information quickly. Notes from the previous visit remain in full view. The provider is able to quickly scroll through the straightforward Chronological Record, or skip to any part, and can search almost anything in the chart.
Dr. Lamberts acknowledges that making the move to a DPC practice model can be scary for an independent physician, but “these tools can make that jump a lot less scary.”