“There’s no A to Z of opening a practice”
Three weeks into opening and Te Atatū Health has already switched PHOs, is enrolling up to 50 new patients a week, is about to bring onboard a third GP and has been offered the loan of tukutuku panels made by prisoners to adorn their walls.
Each of these achievements speaks to the vision GPs Marcus Bishop and Kay Drader have for their practice.
Switching from the large ProCare PHO, to the “small and responsive” Comprehensive Care, has been great, Dr Drader says.
Not growing too large or fast to restrict their ability to respond quickly and offer quality patient care is one of the ideals of their practice.
The two GPs took to the streets last November to enrol patients using with a pop-up registration desk and scanner outside their uncompleted practice building.
Dr Drader says they now have about 1200 patients, served by one-and-a-half full-time equivalent GPs, plus three nurses (2.5 FTE) who are able to make their own patient appointments for items like follow-ups or blood-pressure and diabetes checks.
“To have that number of patients within four weeks of opening is quite humbling,” she says.
One of the nurses is trained in nutrition, and a physiotherapy business operates from the front room of the practice.
The practice also offers email consults where appropriate, which could be just a quick question following an in-person consult, for between $10 and $22, and plans to bring in video consults using Doxy.me software.