QUALITY MEDICAL CARE BY THE NUMBERS

When we speak to potential patients about our practice they often say, “Is there anything else I should ask when choosing a personal physician?” Here’s what we tell them.

Years of Experience
How long have you practiced independent of insurance companies? This matters because insurance-based medicine is radically different than working directly for patients and it takes years to undo the bad habits one develops in an HMO or insurance-based environment.

The Sheldon Sowell Center for Health: 24 years. We know nobody can beat us on this because we originated this style of practice.

Your current physician:

The Parking Lot Test
How long from the time you park your car until you’re in a room actually getting the care you came for?

The Sheldon Sowell Center for Health: 2 minutes, 15 seconds.

Your current physician: 

Availability During Business Hours
How long from when you dial your phone until you’re speaking to a live human?

The Sheldon Sowell Center for Health: 15 seconds.

Your current physician:

Availability During Lunchtime
How long from when you dial your phone until you’re speaking to a live human between noon and 1?

The Sheldon Sowell Center for Health: 15 seconds. We don’t close for lunch. It’s often the only time busy people have a moment to reach out to us.

Your current physician:

Availability After Hours, Weekends, Holidays
How long from when you dial your phone until you’re speaking to a live human after hours, on weekends, and on holidays?

The Sheldon Sowell Center for Health: Again, 15 seconds. All after-hours calls go directly to our doctors’ cell phones.

Your current physician:

Don’t Hold, Please
What’s the chance of getting voicemail when you call?

The Sheldon Sowell Center for Health: Pretty much zero. In an average year a grand total of one or two calls go to our overflow message recorder.

Your current physician:

On-Call Availability
What percentage of the time is the after hours on-call physician a member of the practice (as opposed to someone at another practice who may lack access to your chart)?

The Sheldon Sowell Center for Health: 100%

Your current physician:

How Many Hours Are Yours?
How many hours per year, on average, does your physician have to devote to your care? Assume 2,000 working hours per year and divide 2,000 by the number of patients your doctor cares for.

The Sheldon Sowell Center for Health: 2,000/120 = 16.7 hours per patient.

Your current physician:

Availability of Immediate Appointments
How long does it take to get an appointment for an acute issue like a sinus infection or back pain?

The Sheldon Sowell Center for Health: Generally same day; sometimes next day.

Your current physician: 

Authenticity of Care
How many “physician extenders” (nurse practitioners or physician assistants) does the practice use?

The Sheldon Sowell Center for Health: Zero. All medical care is provided by medical doctors.

Your current physician:

Breadth of Specialist Network
How many specialists does your primary practice have access to?

The Sheldon Sowell Center for Health: Unlimited. Many practices are locked into using specialists at a single hospital or system, but we can use anybody in the region based on their expertise. And we use national centers such as the Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic when we they offer something we can’t find in Colorado.

Your current physician:

Convenience of prescriptions
How do you request refills and how quickly are they processed?

The Sheldon Sowell Center for Health: Call, email, or text our office. Most prescriptions are completed that day, and we let you know when it’s been done. For inexpensive generic medications we often makes things convenient for our patients by providing a year’s worth of medication at a time. And for those with more than one home we’re happy to provide enough to stock each.

Your physician:

Referrals to Specialists
How are referrals handled?

The Sheldon Sowell Center: We’ve spent years fine-tuning our curated panels of specialists, picking those we’d use for ourselves and our family. Before your appointment with a specialist we send an old-fashioned letter of introduction, including your detailed medical history, so the specialist knows exactly why you’re there and has all the background on you they need to get to work efficiently. We email you a copy our referral letter to carry to your appointment as a backup.

Your current physician: 

Quality of Care
Who takes your blood pressure, draws your blood, or administers immunizations at your office visit?

The Sheldon Sowell Center for Health: A Registered Nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing degree.

Your current physician:

Coordination of Care in Emergencies
What does your physician do when you are in an emergency room?

The Sheldon Sowell Center for Health: Whether in Denver or anywhere in the world, we speak to the staff at the emergency department to let them know you’ll be arriving and why, fax your current medical information to guide the care you receive, follow up with the emergency physician to learn what they found, and help guide referrals for follow-up care.

Your physician: 

 

 


The information posted on this blog and website are for general information only and should never be relied on as specific medical advice for an individual reader.  No financial relationship exists between us and any recommended products or persons mentioned. All material contained here is the property of the Sheldon Sowell Center for Health, PC, and cannot be copied, reprinted, or linked to without our express permission.

Fax: 303-789-7495
1780 South Bellaire Street #700
Denver, CO 80222