Making patient care more convenient

Doctors office reception desk behind clear glass doors

HCA Healthcare is committed to providing superior patient-centered care to every patient and doing everything possible to improve their health and provide them the peace of mind they deserve. Lone Peak Family Medicine, an HCA Healthcare Physician Services Group practice in Utah,, is delivering on this commitment with same-day appointments on request.

The U.S. News recently interviewed Todd Furness, a physician who specializes in family medicine at Lone Peak Family Medicine about the rise of same-day appointments. In her article, “The Doctor Will See You Today,” Lisa Esposito, staff writer at U.S. News, talked to Dr. Furness about the common reasons for these visits, how his practice accommodates them, and why they enable his practice to maintain continuity and good care for established patients.

HCA Healthcare Today followed up with Dr. Furness to dive into Lone Peak Family Medicine’s decision to build out its same-day appointment model. According to Dr. Furness, who has worked at Lone Peak Family Medicine for the past five years, the practice heightened its focus on same-day visits in mid-2017. Since then, providers have accommodated approximately 1,188 same-day visits.

Dr. Furness said that patients, most commonly with flu symptoms this year, have responded very positively to this service, which patients can conveniently request by phone or online. “They love it,” said Dr. Furness. “We almost function like an urgent care.”

However, Dr. Furness and his colleagues know the benefits of same-day visits far surpass convenience. In Esposito’s article, Dr. Furness explained that with the flu, it’s best for patients to be seen as soon as possible for treatment to be most effective. Likewise, he said that people with chronic conditions, such as diabetes or heart failure, should be seen immediately by a familiar provider to help prevent worsening symptoms from spiraling out of control.

This service makes it possible for Lone Peak Family Medicine to do everything possible to help its patients get and stay healthy. Furthermore, patients get the added value of personal healthcare—what Dr. Furness says is what differentiates his practice from urgent care.

“It (healthcare) is more personal,” said Dr. Furness, who explained that established patients now regularly check with his practice, which has their patient records, before going to urgent care or the emergency room.”

Dr. Furness listed staff and provider buy-in as an essential component of a successful same-day appointment model. He attributes his practice’s success to effective communication and the flexibility of the providers and staff.

“Our providers have been extremely flexible,” says Dr. Furness. “There is also good communication through instant messenger directly between the front desk and the providers.”

Man wearing suit and tie. Headshot of Dr. Todd Furness.

Dr. Todd Furness, Lone Peak Family Medicine

HCA Healthcare 50th Anniversary
In 1968, HCA Healthcare was conceived by two physicians and an accomplished business leader — Dr. Thomas Frist Sr., Dr. Thomas Frist Jr., and Jack Massey. This year, HCA Healthcare celebrates its golden anniversary and the culture of caring established by our three founders 50 years ago. To help us celebrate our 50th year, we’ll share stories here that reflect HCA Healthcare’s mission – above all else, the care and improvement of human life – and our pledge to improve life and make history for the next 50 years and beyond.

About HCA Healthcare

HCA Healthcare, one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, is comprised of 183 hospitals and more than 2,300 sites of care, in 20 states and the United Kingdom. Our more than 283,000 colleagues are connected by a single purpose — to give patients healthier tomorrows.

As an enterprise, we recognize the significant responsibility we have as a leading healthcare provider within each of the communities we serve, as well as the opportunity we have to improve the lives of the patients for whom we are entrusted to care. Through the compassion, knowledge and skill of our caregivers, and our ability to leverage our scale and innovative capabilities, HCA Healthcare is in a unique position to play a leading role in the transformation of care.

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