Protected status is applied to clinics in High Demand Areas. High Demand Areas are those where the demand for family doctors is so high that clinics cannot have their accepting status safely displayed on the public site. With hundreds of users accessing the site every day, displaying a clinic as “accepting new patients” results in an overwhelming number of phone calls to the clinic. While large clinics might be able to handle the volume, in our experience most cannot and the high call volume takes staff away from doing their regular work and can even prevent existing patients from contacting the clinic.
To alleviate this problem and still help people find family doctors we now do the following:
- We mark all clinics in the High Demand area as “Protected” and do not post their current accepting status. A clinic can request to have their status made public.
- We still send notifications to people who have signed up for the notification service when these clinics are accepting new patients, but we do so slowly, and in the same order that people signed up for the service.
- We limit the number of subscriptions in each High Demand area to the number that can likely be filled within 6 months. Note there can be no guarantee that all subscribers can find a doctor within 6 months because we have no control over the number of openings.