The practice of the sole practitioner is going by the wayside, perhaps the way house calls once did? More and more, we are seeing the sole practitioner absorbed by group practices, multi-specialty practice groups, or healthcare organizations. The necessity to be in alignment is obvious. EMR is leading to this alignment. Patient-focused interdisciplinary team medicine is leading to this alignment. Models in continuum of care are leading to this alignment. Certainly, the rising cost of healthcare delivery, the shrinking value of reimbursements, and physicians ability to cover costs of medical school while assuring a steady income less the headaches associated with keeping up with the reimbursement maze is contributing to this necessity for alignment. As medical planners, healthcare architects, and interior designers, what can we offer these entities to assist with this transition? There are inherent differences between the physical, operational, and organization flow of a sole practitioner’s clinic and group practice, between a sole practitioner’s clinic and multi-disciplined clinic, and between a sole practitioner’s clinic and a hospital owned clinic. How do we assist these organizations to conduct these strategic assessments, compare flow metrics, and prepare valuable analytics to enhance throughput of patient volumes, improve patient comfort, increase staff retention and reduce stress and burn-out?

It is time we step forward and contribute to assist with this new alignment, to help with the reduction of healthcare costs, and improve the future of our healthcare environment.