For many physicians, patient panels grow longer while visit lengths shrink. This reality not only causes serious physician stress, it also compromises the patient relationship and even leads physicians to miss important clues about their patients' health.
Fortunately, practices can minimize these risks by streamlining the way they handle office visits. A recent article from Physicians Practice compiled the following expert tips for maximizing face-to-face time with patients:
Assign patients pre-visit homework. Streamline patient check-in by having patients fill out any forms or paperwork your office staff needs prior to their appointment. Also ask patients to bring in a short list of relevant health information (e.g., symptom changes, new stressors), as well as any medical concerns to help the doctor know what he or she needs to address during the appointment.
Get smart about patient education. Save time searching for pertinent educational material by having it ready in the exam room with the patient's name on it. If the information requires additional explanation, consider delegating this discussion to a clinician other than the physician. Better yet, build a library of educational videos for patients to view in a separate room after their appointment.
Put your portal to work. Some physicians fear that communicating with patients through a portal will add more tasks to their day, but in the long run, having better-engaged patients saves physicians and staff time by cutting down on questions doctors need to answer during appointments and calls to the office.
To learn more:
- read the article