FutureDocs Forecasting Tool
The FutureDocs Forecasting Tool is an interactive, user-friendly, web-based model that estimates the supply of physicians, use of physician services, and capacity of the physician workforce to meet future use of health services at the sub-state, state and national levels.
The first phase of funding from 2011-2014 enabled the development, implementation and dissemination of the model and its results. The tool is an important and innovative step forward for health care workforce modeling because it is interactive, web-based, and user-friendly. The FutureDocs Forecasting Tool gives users the ability to display different estimates of supply for various specialties, healthcare services use, and shortages or surpluses for many types of services at different geographic levels between 2011 and 2030. The tool also provides the option to implement different scenarios, such as the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges and Medicaid expansion provisions; adjust retirement rates and work effort by physicians; and increase the use of Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants to meet the demand for health care services.
A second phase of funding from 2014-2017 allows for the continued maintenance of the model, including an update of the data. This phase also includes a training component to educate practicing physicians and other stakeholders to use data and interpret results for more effective workforce planning.
We are indebted to The Physicians Foundation, without whose support the initial development and continued maintenance of the FutureDocs Forecasting Tool would not have been possible. We are also grateful for the collaboration of the North Carolina Medical Society Foundation, and the guidance of our Clinical Advisory Board members.
Take the model for a test drive, and please let us know what you think! You can access the model, get additional information about the project, and submit feedback to us at https://www2.shepscenter.unc.edu/workforce.