Fast Track by WELL Health: Timely and Accessible Care
Patients looking for a walk-in appointment often need to head to their local clinic early in the morning, register in person and wait in the hopes of being seen by the doctor that day.
But at most clinics in Canada, there are no guarantees.
Understandably, this leaves patients frustrated. When sick and taking time away from family and work commitments, or when packing up sick children in the hopes of receiving timely care, patients or their parents want to know they'll see a doctor.
That’s where Fast Track comes in! When you visit a WELL Health Clinic, we’ll make sure you can see a doctor.
Our latest blog looks at why access to a doctor is often a problem for patients and how WELL’s Fast Track service is helping.
Wait Times and Worn-Out Practitioners
Canadian healthcare is facing significant challenges. COVID-19 has exacerbated these challenges as family doctors are burning out and leaving their practices at alarming rates.
For patients, the shortage of family doctors leads many patients to cross their fingers and head to a clinic, hoping to see a doctor if they are early and willing to wait. Growing frustration with wait times pushes patients to head to already stretched emergency departments, often for non-urgent care.
“I’ve seen it on the frontline before. The worst thing is turning away a patient due to government-imposed capacity limits. These patients often end up at the Emergency department waiting for hours. explains Jeremy Mickolwin, VP Clinic Operations at WELL Health.
So, how is WELL Health helping patients?
Patients value their time. They want to know they will be seen, whether they are taking time off work, travelling a significant distance to get to the clinic or just don’t want to spend another sleepless night worrying and waiting to see a doctor.
Patients want to see a doctor in a timely manner.
At WELL Health, our unique Fast Track service gives back patients their time and peace of mind by making that a reality!
What is Fast Track & How Does it Work?
Fast Track is an innovative service currently only available at WELL Health clinics that provides all patients with the option to be seen on the same day.
If you visit one of our 20+ clinics in the Lower Mainland and there are no appointments available, clinic staff can connect you with a WELL Health physician at another WELL clinic for your appointment.
“We match availability at all of our clinics virtually with patients that walk in the door,” explains Jeremy Mickolwin.
If a patient is at a clinic with limited or no availability, they can choose Fast Track to connect virtually with a physician at another WELL clinic that has availability. WELL Health Medical Centres is the largest network of outpatient medical clinics in BC, making WELL uniquely positioned to offer this patient experience.
With Fast Track, you don’t need to worry about being tech-savvy or connecting to a call with your own device. Clinic staff will guide you to a private room and set you up with a clinic tablet during the appointment.
Having staff there to support the physician helps all our patients benefit from our virtual Fast Track service. These clinic staff can also assist by taking blood pressure readings and temperature checks, ensuring everything runs smoothly.
“When you go to a WELL clinic, you know you’re going to be seen.
And that’s thanks to Fast Track.”
– Jeremy Mickolwin, VP Clinic Operations at WELL Health
What Are the Benefits of Fast Track?
Fast Track benefits patients in the following ways:
Peace of Mind
At WELL Clinics, advance online booking is an option, but we understand that sometimes in-person appointments are urgent and require a more immediate visit.
With Fast Track, you can be sure that if you need an urgent appointment, you can visit a WELL Health Clinic and see a WELL Health doctor. This means no more wasted trips to a clinic, only to discover the clinic is at capacity for the day.
If the doctor decides an in-person follow-up to a Fast Track is needed, one of WELL’s Care Coordinators can rebook you as soon as possible for an in-person visit. Usually, this is for the following day.
This provides our patients with further peace of mind.
Overcoming Barriers to Care
Patients who experience barriers to care can use Fast Track to access and benefit from virtual care.
While virtual care has grown in popularity, for many it isn’t the most appropriate option.
For example, elderly patients may still choose to visit a clinic in person. But this means taking the time to travel and wait without being certain they will see a doctor. For patients with mobility issues, travelling to a clinic can be difficult and stressful. Every appointment is facilitated and supported by clinic staff, ensuring that every patient can benefit from this hybrid virtual care service.
At WELL, we want to support access to care for patients with unique needs, and Fast Track helps us do that.
Saving You Time. Saving Everyone Money.
Fast Track also helps to support our Canadian healthcare system more generally. By providing more patients with access to care, our service is helping reduce non-urgent visits to emergency departments.
This saves provincial government money as visits to the ER often cost more than $500 compared to roughly $30 when patients receive care in the community. Every patient that Fast Track helps is taxpayer dollars saved for Canadians.
Did you know? Our WELL Clinic network averages 200 Fast Track visits each week
Learn More About WELL Clinics
WELL Health operates the largest network of medical clinics in Canada, and our Fast Track service is available across our WELL Clinic network in the Lower Mainland
But Fast Track isn’t the only thing that makes our network different. WELL Clinics use the latest healthcare technology, including self-check in, virtual waiting rooms, wayfinding, appointment reminders and online booking, to improve experiences for our patients. The WELL network also contains a variety of medical specialists, allowing patients to get care quickly and easily.
To learn more about our clinic network or to book an appointment, visit the WELL Clinics.