The Easier Way To Better Care


Viral Patel, MD

As an ex director of a large emergency department and a trained ER doc myself, I will be the first to tell you that your emergency room doctor has no business being your primary care physician.

Emergency Departments everywhere are set up for the sole purpose of addressing emergency medical conditions (and making money). However, due to many reasons, the emergency department has become the first line of defense for many, if not most Americans seeking care. The data supporting primary care physicians as the best equipped to produce better outcomes at a lower price for consumers is overwhelming. But when it comes to receiving routine care from a doctor, the most important factor for many people is ease. When you’re sick, you want to feel better as soon as possible. And our system is great at getting people better when they end up in the hospital. But if we really want to radically change outcomes, we need to invest in making less costly options more convenient and available to everyone. The care needs to be proactive and high quality. And, perhaps most importantly, it needs to be easy if we want Americans to adapt and engage.

Sometimes radical changes can be simple. And sometimes, the answers we need to fix complex problems are right in front of our faces. Americans use the Emergency Department and Urgent Care centers as their main source of healthcare for one reason: they’re easily accessible. While millions of Americans claim to have a relationship with a primary care physician, there is still a glaring shortage of providers nationally. Geographic access is a big problem when it comes to primary care but there is also the fact that primary care providers, by and large, simply don’t have enough time in the day to make access to proactive and urgent care for their patients easy. So they choose the expensive institution down the street promising a short wait time – setting off a whole costly cycle that could’ve been totally avoided in the first place. 

While it sounds simple, reimagining care delivery is no small task. Luckily, in a modern world, we have technology to break down barriers, create access, and improve upon traditional ways of doing things. Nearly  90% of Americans own a smartphone; up from 35% just 10 years ago and representing a massive opportunity for radically reimagining healthcare delivery. Americans find their soulmates, make major financial purchases, manage their money, and find turn-by-turn directions when they’re lost on their smartphones. Why wouldn’t they find a great doctor, develop a relationship with that doctor, and, ultimately, have real time access to that doctor in their times of need? Through technology, we can create a healthcare system that is proactive, long-term relationship focused, AND easy to use in your times of need. 

At Radish, we have radically redesigned the healthcare experience for employees and their families. Our digital-first platform and dedicated team of physicians and therapists bring together the best of sick care with the most proactive wellcare to deliver an all-in-one solution that reduces the overall cost of your plan while optimizing engagement. 

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