Around 15-20 percent of patients in the United States live in rural areas. Unfortunately, between primary care shortages, hospital closures, and geographic isolation, those patients are up against significant barriers to accessing healthcare. The National Rural Health Association reports there are only 30 specialists per 100,000 people in rural communities, compared to 263 specialists per 100,000 urban residents.
Dr. William Osler said that “the practice of medicine is an art, not a trade; a calling,
not a business; a calling in which your heart will be exercised equally with your head."
In this series of blogs, Translating Healthcare, we will highlight and break down the meaning of phrases and terminology that are increasingly used, but not always widely understood. Today, we'll be unpacking the definitions of synchronous and asynchronous and examples of how they apply to the medical world.
Synchronous vs Asynchronous
On a basic level it might be clear that these two words refer to opposing things and have something to do with time… but how does their meaning they apply to healthcare?
A full, consistent schedule is the bread and butter of any successful medical practice. Patients who miss their appointments, no-shows and last-minute cancellations can have a huge impact on your practice’s financial health.
In the wake of COVID-19, competition for clinical talent has never been more fierce. Health systems were already up against staffing shortages, high turnover rates, and an epidemic of provider burnout before the virus swept across the globe. After the pandemic, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) projects that physician shortage could be as high as 139,000 physicians by 2033, with an annual turnover rate of six to seven percent.