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How Does 24/7 Access to Concierge Care Work at PartnerMD?

Concierge Medicine | Membership

One of the biggest pros of concierge medicine in general is the 24/7 access to physician care. It removes the hassle from the traditional primary care experience of not being able to get care when you need it.

  • Wake up in the middle of the night feeling terrible? You can get care.
  • Feeling shaky on a Saturday afternoon? You can get care.
  • Forgot to refill your prescriptions and suddenly it’s Sunday? You can get care.

But within concierge medicine, there are several ways practices typically provide 24/7 access. Some options include:

  • Direct cell phone number for your specific physician
  • Designated physician on-call with a dedicated number to call
  • Third-party remote nurse line or triage service

At PartnerMD, we rotate after-hours and weekend coverage among the PartnerMD physicians in each office to provide 24/7 access to care for all patients.

Many nights you will get your PartnerMD physician, but some nights and most weekends, you will probably get another physician from that same office. Here’s why we do it that way, and how it works.

woman on phone with doctor refilling prescription

3 Benefits of 24/7 Access to Concierge Care

Why do concierge medicine practices even provide 24/7 access to concierge care in the first place? Providing non-stop access to healthcare delivers three main benefits for patients.

1. You get the care you need when you need it. One of the main complaints about the traditional primary care experience is that you can’t always reach your doctor, or any doctor, unless you happen to get sick during business hours.

What if you, or a loved one, happens to fall ill at 9:00 p.m.? In the middle of the night? On the weekend? It can be difficult to get care in a timely manner.

With 24/7 access to concierge care, none of that matters. Whether it’s 9:00 p.m., the middle of the night, or the weekend, you will quickly get the care you need, when you need it. This leads us to the next benefit...

2. And you get the right kind of care. Needing healthcare after hours can be stressful. Who are you going to talk to? What should you do? Should you go to ER or wait it out? Having guaranteed 24/7 access to physician care ensures you get the right kind of care.

While you should always call 9-1-1 first if you are having an emergency, having access to physician advice 24/7 can be a huge help for those in-between scenarios, where you aren’t sure if a trip to the ER is the right move or not. The right care, at the right time, when you need it. Add all that together and...

3. You get peace of mind. It can be a lonely feeling to start feeling sick and not have anyone you trust who can help, besides maybe a loved one and Google.

With 24/7 access to concierge care, you get the peace of mind that comes from knowing that no matter what time it is, no matter where you are, you will quickly get the care you need. It removes the “who do I call? Where do I go?” stress.

So, when you start feeling bad at an inconvenient time – on vacation, on a business trip, the week of your child’s wedding, etc. – accessing care quickly is one less thing to worry about in your busy life.

How 24/7 Access to Concierge Care Works at PartnerMD

Let’s say it’s 10:00 p.m. on a Wednesday night and you spike a fever. How would you take advantage of 24/7 access to concierge care at PartnerMD? It’s very simple.

  1. Call your PartnerMD physician directly. Follow the prompts to reach the on-call doctor.
  2. You will either reach the on-call physician immediately or you will leave a voicemail. If you get the voicemail, leave a message explaining your situation.
  3. This alerts our on-call doctor to a request for care, and they will call you back as soon as they are done with any previous patients. Typically within five to 15 minutes, you’ll be on the phone with a PartnerMD physician.

From there, our on-call doctor will use the medical information available in your records and any additional info you provide them over the phone to recommend the best course of action.

This would be the same process whether it’s 10:00 p.m. on a Wednesday, 2:00 a.m. on a Thursday, or 3:00 p.m. on the weekend.

Note: If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1 first.

concierge doctor on phone with patient after hours

Why does PartnerMD do it that way?

You may have noticed that we don’t provide our doctor’s direct cell phone number for 24/7 access to concierge care.

Some of our doctors may make the personal choice to provide it on an as-needed basis, but the guaranteed way to get 24/7 physician care at PartnerMD is by calling our dedicated after-hours number to reach the on-call physician. You won’t always get your own personal physician, but you will always get a PartnerMD physician.

Why do we do it that way? Wouldn’t your own doctor’s cell phone number be better? Here are two reasons we do it this way.

1. Your doctor deserves a break, too.

One reason concierge medicine is growing in popularity, especially with physicians, is because it can help prevent doctor burnout. 66% of primary care physicians reported feeling burnt out in 2021, according to a study by The Physician’s Foundation.

Concierge medicine can help doctors resolve burnout by allowing them to practice how they always wanted – with the time to provide top-notch care for all their patients.

And it’s simply impossible to provide that top-notch care on an endless, 24/7 basis. Doctors need dedicated time off so they can maintain the highest standard of care.

They deserve to spend some time with their family, to knock out a project around the house, or to compete in a spartan race on the weekend without worrying that their patients aren’t getting the care they need.

That’s one reason why we rotate after-hours and weekend coverage among the PartnerMD doctors in each office. It allows our doctors to live their own life, but to also recharge and regroup so they can provide the best care possible for their patients.

2. But you should always have someone with access to your medical records.

There is an important distinction to make regarding how we provide 24/7 access to care. We guarantee that when you do need 24/7 access to concierge care, you will always talk to a PartnerMD physician.

By keeping after-hours and weekend care “in the family,” our on-call physicians maintain access to your medical records. When you call, they can quickly pull up your records and get a complete picture of your health.

They can see your most recent visits, your doctor’s notes, your latest lab results, and use all this information to quickly get up-to-speed on your care, so they can deliver an informed recommendation for you.

This isn’t the case with nurse lines, triage services, or when a doctor gets a fellow physician to fill in for them. They’ll do the best they can with the information you provide them, but without access to your medical records, they won’t have the complete context.

Ultimately, we believe this strikes the right balance for you, the patient, and for our doctors. You get the peace of mind from knowing you have access to informed, trusted physician care 24/7/365, and our doctors get the opportunity to regroup and recharge so they can provide top-notch concierge care for the long term.

Get 24/7 access to concierge care at PartnerMD.

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