Written by Sarah Lim, CA Lic# 0M52397
6 Time Saving Tips for Physicians
One of the most valuable commodities for physicians and medical practices is TIME. It always seems like there is not enough time to ensure that patients are getting the care they need, the attention they deserve, that health and test records are logged accurately, etc. The following list includes six quick tips and strategies on how to provide patient care in the most effective manner possible.
1. There are some patients that require more time during their visit due to their health condition or because they are difficult patients. By scheduling these “complicated” patients towards the end of the day, you can schedule time for more patients who are coming in for quick follow-ups or check-ups.
2. The way you note prescriptions can save you time too. Some physicians use stamps to print commonly used prescriptions while others use check boxes for dosing.
3. Make sure your employees are practicing up to the limit of authority of their license. For example, your nurse practitioner could take on more responsibilities that include completing and signing a death certificate, taking care of refills, reviewing labs, etc. By delegating such tasks to your qualified staff, you can make more time to focus on individual patients and other responsibilities you may have.
4. Instead of requesting procedures and services from scratch, use templates that can speed up this process. Many doctors use templates for clinical records in the Electronic Health Records (EHR) system, but you can also use templates for interoffice communications regarding billing as well as for frequently requested orders for procedures and services. Such requests can include orders for physical therapy for back/neck pain, or orders for durable medical equipment.
5. If possible, drop your third party insurance contracts so that you can provide care directly to your patients without having to ask for permission and push papers.
6. When completing patient notes in the Electronic Health Records, start with assessment and plan. Many doctors find that notes go faster in the EHR when most of the assessment and plan are done in the exam room. Most of the plan is what is typed out for the patient to take home. Therefore, starting with assessment and plan can help you remember the visit more quickly and completely when you are completing and signing your notes later. This can also help make the history and physical exam/lab results go more smoothly and accurately.