Splash Talks


One Medical's Tom Lee: "Patient care is an art"

One Medical CEO spoke at Splash Health about how doctors are treated differently at his clinics

Innovation series by Steven Loeb
February 14, 2015
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At Vator Splash Health on Thursday, One Medical Group CEO Tom Lee sat down with our own Bambi Francisco, to talk about how his company is transforming healthcare. 

One Medical operates its own clinics, w here patients get access to top health professionals, 24/7 virtual care, same-day appointments and more. They are able to enjoy more quality time with their provider during longer appointments that start on time, they can e-mail their provider directly with follow up questions, get access to 24/7 phone support and stay connected and on top of their health with the One Medical mobile app.

At the conference, Lee spoke about the benefits of the clinics to the doctors, as well as the patients. For one, they see half of the patients as a typical doctor does in a given day.

The average doctor sees 25 to 30 primary care patients, something which Lee called "an unsustainable" and a "low quality" model.

"When you think about your average day, how many days do you have when you're 25, 30 meetings per day? it's an unsustainable number. We'll see half, we'll see 15, patients a day, but how many days do you have when you see 16 meetings a day? That's still is every 30 minutes,” said Lee. “

And so when you're talking about health, and something as complicated as your body and how it interacts with the environment, and all the pharmaceutical options, and all the surgical options, and all the non-pharmaceutical options available, you can't cram that into, really, a 20, 25 minute visit and then also take work off your patients. So it’s a hard model even in our practice model today but its better than what is the current model."

A big part of what One Medical does is put some of what is missing back into patient care.

"We believe in the physicians having a voice in patient are and managing their practices locally at their local neighborhood where they practice care," said Lee.

Often physicians are in positions where it 'restricts the degrees of freedom as to what the physician can do at the point of care," but "whether we like to admit it or not, there's still a lot of heart to medicine. There's very little science as to what happens in primary care today."

"At the end of the day, we have to recognize the fact that patient care is an art and so we allow providers and physicians to practice their craft as individuals."

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