HealthWare Systems Blog
3 Simple Time-Savers for Physicians
The following time-savers for physicians can help busy doctors who don’t always have as much time to meet with each patient as they’d like.
Provide your doctors with these three simple time-savers for physicians to help them more efficiently use the time they do have, generate better health outcomes, increase patient satisfaction, and reduce physician burnout.
1. Set an Agenda with Your Patient
Begin the appointment by agreeing on your expectations and priority items for the visit. Determine what your patient’s primary concerns are and list your own, then make sure you cover these first; then if there’s time you can focus on any others.
You will increase patient satisfaction if you ensure their most pressing concerns are addressed, even if that means scheduling another appointment for the lesser concerns that you didn’t get to in one meeting. The Language of Caring for Physicians® can guide you through how to “establish the concept of time limits upfront.”
2. Practice Physician Empathy
Another way to make certain you address your patients’ most important concerns is through empathic behaviors, such as refraining from interrupting when patients explain what’s bothering them and consistently asking “what else?” to prompt patients to divulge more.
Physician empathy produces better health outcomes, can increase patient satisfaction with their provider, and will save you time by getting straight to the critical details that may not otherwise be revealed until the “Doorknob Moment,” when you’re about to leave but the patient says, “oh, one more thing…”
3. Write Legibly & Proofread
Although it may seem like it saves time to scribble out a prescription as quickly as possible or speed-type instructions into a patient’s record and skip reading them over, these behaviors actually slow doctors down in the long run (and lead to patient safety errors).
Write carefully and legibly and proofread your typed notes. This will help you avoid the time-consuming rework that consists of answering phone calls and messages from other providers or pharmacists looking for clarification on any confusing or incorrectly recorded information. Better health outcomes are also much more likely when mistakes and miscommunication are prevented.
Each of these tips will benefit your doctors and patients. Setting an agenda will result in more productive visits; physician empathy will improve patient-physician relationships; double-checking their own notes will decrease frustration for your doctors later.
These simple time-savers for physicians will not only increase patient satisfaction and generate better health outcomes, but also help in reducing physician burnout because your doctors (and their time) will no longer be spread so thin.