News & Blog

Dealing with the Doctor Shortage

The US has too few doctors. There are currently 1400 patients per Primary Care Physician. Many specialties are even worse, for instance there are 14,000 diabetes patients per Endocrinologist. The federal government has designated over 6000 regions of the country as a HPSA (Health Professional Shortage Area) .

And it’s getting worse. An aging population demanding more medical services, doctors retiring, and low new doctor training rates will result in a 46,000 to 90,000 doctor shortage in ten years.

What can we do about it? For a start we can utilize doctors better. Today our model of medicine is to put every patient, regardless of their complaint, into an expensive health setting and throw a doctor at them. As much as 60% of patients seen in Urgent Care and 40% in Emergency Departments are for conditions that are not acute. Common primary care conditions – upper respiratory congestion, ear aches, rashes, abdominal pain, etc. – as well as chronic disease management, and post discharge monitoring, can most often be best treated remotely supported by technology.

For example, a patient with diabetes is considered compliant he/she visits an endocrinologist three times a year. Patient monitoring devices and mobile diabetes applications coupled with a population management platform can determine which individuals have their diabetes under control and need much less frequent doctor visits and which are at risk and may need even more frequent visits.

By engaging patients in self assessment and disease management, we can keep low acuity cases out of expensive care settings, saving patients and doctors time and money. Similarly, we can allow doctors to see the patients that need them the most allowing them to spend their time much more effectively.

Capsci delivers technology to support this shifting model of care. Putting information and capability into the hands of patients, and optimally connecting people with the care resources they need.

Capsci helps relieve the doctor shortage by helping do a lot more with the doctors we have.