< All Updates

Oh No! Where are the Geriatricians?

March 14, 2024

My family considers ourselves fortunate. We've seen firsthand the transformative impact a skilled geriatrician can have on a loved one's care. Studies validate our experience and show how geriatricians improve patient and family satisfaction and decrease the cost of care delivery.

For us, the geriatrician changed the conventional, fragmented approach to care we encountered into integrated care, providing a holistic balance in physical, emotional, and social health essential for my loved one and our family.

This experience wasn't just medical — it was deeply human.

A Troubling Paradox

At a time when the need for specialized geriatric care is soaring, the availability of geriatricians and geriatric extenders is in decline. This isn't just an inconvenience—it's a crisis with profound implications for health equity in our nation.

Geriatrician Shortage and Geographic Disparity

Approximately 7,300 certified geriatricians are in the U.S.; we are estimated to need over 30,000 to serve the expanding senior population. And with around 2.5 MM nurses in the U.S., only 15,000 are certified in geriatrics. Over 40% of U.S. counties lack a single geriatrician, leaving vast rural and underserved areas without access to specialized care. This distribution exacerbates healthcare disparities and limits the reach of the coordinated care model.

Coordinating Comprehensive Healthcare

Why should we care about this shortage? Geriatricians are key in orchestrating a multidisciplinary team approach that improves patient outcomes. This shortage jeopardizes the continuity of high-quality, coordinated care, which has been shown to reduce hospital readmission rates by up to 25% and substantially improve patient satisfaction scores.

Designing Tailored Care Plans

Personalized care plans are not a luxury but a necessity for aging. Research suggests they lead to measurable improvements in quality of life—a 20% uptick. Yet, the scarcity of geriatricians leaves many without this option. This underscores the need for increased funding and incentives for medical and nursing students specializing in geriatrics and payment reform, which recognizes the impact of geriatric care management.

Improving Healthcare Communication

The integrated communication strategy facilitated by geriatricians results in a 30% reduction in medication errors and a 15% increase in patient satisfaction. The need for more specialists restricts the scalability of this approach. Investing in telehealth, medication management technologies, and accessible digital health records can augment the efficiency of the limited number of geriatricians, enabling them to serve a broader patient base.

Reducing Unnecessary Tests

As geriatricians focus on the needs and preferences of their patients, their treatment plans have been shown to reduce unnecessary diagnostic tests and treatments by as much as 40%. Yet, the clinician shortage means many seniors continue to receive unwanted and unnecessary tests.

Leveraging Technology for Efficiency

Integrating technology, such as remote patient monitoring, family management and communication, and AI-driven diagnostic systems, is crucial for enhancing the efficiency of geriatricians and patient outcomes. These technologies allow for the management of routine tasks, efficient communication, and care management with the patient and family and enable geriatricians to concentrate on complex care coordination.

A Call to Action

We can't afford to wait. The aging population deserves comprehensive, personalized care that honors their place in society. Investing strategically can bridge the gap between the current healthcare challenges and an ideal future of integrated senior care health outcomes.

Let's unite to ensure that no one has to say, "Oh no! I can't find a geriatrician" ever again.

Get in touch

Need a hand? Not sure where to start?

We're here and happy to help. Drop us a line and we'll get back to you or call Support at (877) 694-4431.

We also have tons of articles and videos on our help page for many frequently asked questions.

Thank you! Your message has been received.

We'll get back to you as soon as possible.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Copyright © 2023 HealthHive, PBC
All Rights Reserved

Privacy is important to us, so you have the option of disabling certain types of storage that may not be necessary for the basic functioning of the website. Blocking categories may impact your experience on the website. More information

Accept all cookies

These items are required to enable basic website functionality.

Always active

These items are used to deliver advertising that is more relevant to you and your interests.

These items allow the website to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language, or the region you are in) and provide enhanced, more personal features.

These items help the website operator understand how its website performs, how visitors interact with the site, and whether there may be technical issues.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.