Feature

Getting ready for the ‘patient of the future’


Amanda Lyons


5/09/2019 3:39:00 PM

GP19 keynote speaker Mark McCrindle wants to help GPs understand how doctor–patient relationships are evolving.

Social researcher Mark McCrindle.
Mark McCrindle believes social ‘mega-trends’ have specific impacts on the world of doctors.

Given the speed of development in today’s fast-moving world, where technologies, modes of communication and social orthodoxies are constantly evolving, it can be hard to keep pace.
 
One of the major things that has been impacted by such developments is people’s expectations of the doctor–patient relationship.
 
‘Patients are more empowered, and gone are the days of just expecting to sit in a waiting room and be ready when the doctor is ready,’ Mr McCrindle, social researcher and futurist, told newsGP. ‘People want an instant response, they want to have the professionals contactable on email or be able to text them directly. They want answers or results now.
 
‘It’s an expectation that technology has created; [patients] see their own world of technology adapting to customise for their particular needs, and they then will expect all their organisations that meet their needs to respond in that sort of way.
 
‘So that creates a new challenge: how do you communicate in that era?’
 
Mr McCrindle, who is principal of McCrindle Research, an Australian social and market research company, will help GPs to understand the patient of the future in his keynote address at the RACGP’s annual conference for general practice – GP19 – to be held in Adelaide this October.
 
Mr McCrindle also believes an understanding of broader social trends can be helpful for individual GPs in providing context for how their work may be changing in tandem with the larger society around them.
 
‘We’ve got population growth, not just in capital cities but in regional cities, so we’ve got demand which is, in some ways, greater than the supply of a lot of primary health provision,’ he explained.
 
‘Two thirds of our growth nationally is through overseas migration, so cultural diversity is becoming very strong in our communities and, with that, for doctors, communication gaps and even different morbidities or issues will present as the cohort or the patient base changes.
 
‘We’ve got generational change and an era where young people will often go to Dr Google before they go to their specialist or GP.
 
‘And then you’ve got technology change, which presents a great opportunity for doctors and practices to utilise that technology and thrive, but it can also create a bit of change fatigue where people can become overwhelmed with all the options and the opportunities.’
 
Mr McCrindle is also aware that it is all too easy to take for granted all of the positive developments in healthcare over the past few decades.
 
‘Demographic data points out that life expectancy today is not only greater than at any other time in history, but it continues to point up, so all of those gains have not yet been achieved,’ he said.
 
‘And most of that comes as a result, not only of personal health practices, so eating better and exercising more, but because of the health infrastructure, the primary health sophistication we have in Australia, and the pharmaceuticals that have helped us sustain better quality of life or overcome illnesses.
 
‘The fact that we’re living longer and therefore are active later and able to work later, that is the direct result, in part, of the technological and of the medical expertise that we have.
 
‘So I think there are a lot of fantastic things about this particular era, about the changes that we’ve seen.’
 
However, Mr McCrindle also acknowledges that change brings challenge.
 
‘One example is health records and the scepticism some people have around new technologies because of privacy hacks and data breaches, and just a general distrust of institutions that have particularly become more manifest in the last decade,’ he said.
 
One challenge that especially confronts many practice owners in a time where the profession is facing an ageing workforce, is succession planning, something Mr McCrindle also intends to address in his keynote speech.
 
‘[I want to] share a few thoughts around succession planning, and how can doctors and their practice management attract, train and retain that next generation of GPs,’ he said.
 
‘What are the ways of communicating and engaging with those young doctors that will make a difference for their future?’
 
Mr McCrindle is looking forward to the opportunity to speak to GPs and contribute to a sector he regards as vital to the Australian community.
 
‘Here is a group of people who are investing in and assisting their communities, literally helping the life of their communities,’ he said.
 
‘So to be able to pass on our research on communities, on Australians, on our population, to those who are on the front lines of supporting and empowering our population with living our life and health, then that’s a good match of input.’



demographics futurism GP19 RACGP Social research Social trends technology



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DR. AHAD KHAN   6/09/2019 12:14:14 PM

Just look at this Statement by Mr. McCrindle :
------ " ‘Patients are more empowered, and gone are the days of just expecting to sit in a waiting room and be ready when the doctor is ready,’ Mr McCrindle, social researcher and futurist, told newsGP. ‘People want an instant response, they want to have the professionals contactable on email or be able to text them directly. They want answers or results now. "
WOW !!!!!

Can the Populace directly contact any other Business Owner or any Govt. Employee or the CEO via a TEXT MESSAGE or via an e-mail outside of their Office Hours & expect a PROMPT Response ??? - the Answer is an emphatic NO.

So then, why should GPs be subjected to this ABSURDITY ???

I certainly would vehemently detest any Patient of mine, infringing on my PERSONAL SPACE.

During my Working Hours, I will provide my Full Attention & Dedication towards each & every Patient of mine.
But, AFTER HOURS, I deserve my Privacy !!!

DR. AHAD KHAN


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