Have you visited a doctor lately? Healthcare has changed dramatically over the past decade. We often hear patients complain about going to the doctor due to:
- Long wait times
- Rude office staff
- Seeing multiple “assistants” before seeing the doctor
- The small amount of time they get with the actual doctor before he or she runs out of the room
Some have called the modern model of practicing medicine “a cattle mill”. Unfortunately, reimbursement for providing medical care is not what it was 10-20 years ago, and it continues to dwindle with each passing year. The modern day medical office is typically “large and bulky” with lots of employees and other high cost expenses. To make ends meet, practices need to see lots of patients on a daily basis. We call this type of medical practice “the hungry monster”. In such an environment, patients can start to feel like a number. Believe it or not, doctors usually have little to no control over these issues as it’s becoming more common for doctors to be employees themselves. They can be overworked and start to experience symptoms of burnout without recognizing it.
We decided to do things differently at the San Antonio Eye & Face Institute. First, we are a small, family-owned and operated medical practice. We make every effort to control our overhead expenses which means that our practice is not “a hungry monster”. We are under no pressure to see 50-60 patients per day to make ends meet. This gives our doctors the opportunity to personally spend time with each of our patients. In addition, we do not order tests without a definitive reason for ordering it and we do not perform procedures unless it’s necessary and the benefits truly outweigh the risks. This may NOT be the case in “hungry monster” practices.
The first thing that you may notice at the San Antonio Eye Institute is that all critically important aspects of your exam will be performed by a doctor. Does this mean you’ll never meet one of our technicians? No, our technicians are vital to helping us provided excellent care in a timely fashion. They'll help the doctors by measuring your vision, taking historical information and performing refractions, eye pressures, visual fields, OCTs, and other important diagnostic tests. The way we do things have been intentionally designed to give you adequate time with your doctor. You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and get answers to those questions.
This model seems to be working as our patients have high satisfaction rates and our doctors don’t feel burnt out. It’s truly a win-win situation for all involved! Even better, we have been able to run this concierge-like practice while still accepting Medicare, Tricare, and many commercial insurance plans.
We are certain that you will see and feel the difference when you visit our doctors and our office. If you’re not satisfied with the attention and care we give to you, we’ll personally help you find another doctor for your eye care needs.
Relief Jones, III, M.D. and Maria Isabel Triana, M.D.