ITEMS IN FPM ON TOPIC:
Clinical support staff
Delegation, technology, and training enabled our MAs - and doctors - to grow.
Nonphysician practitioners can expand practice capacity, but it's vital to follow the billing rules.
Physicians can maximize their time - and their practice's income - by delegating more documentation tasks to well-trained staff.
"A physician is obligated to consider more than a diseased organ, more even than the whole man - he must view the man in his world." -- Dr. Harvey Cushing
A health education specialist (HES) is a clinic staff member who can fill many roles now demanded in modern medical practices. In the authors' practice, the HES serves as both a health educator, encouraging patients toward more healthy behavior, and a health coach, helping patients choose and achieve defined health goals. These roles also include assisting physicians during Medicare annual wellness visits and coaching co-visits. The HES also can monitor care quality and oversee practice improvement initiatives, such as transitioning to a medical home model. Using non-medical personnel for HES positions, practices can still reap benefits from their specialized training while not having to remove nursing personnel from their increasingly important primary care responsibilities.
The drive away from fee-for-service and toward efficiency is requiring integrated health care groups to decrease hospitalization and procedures while still needing to maximize revenue. Including care coordinators can bridge this gap, helping identify and manage chronically ill patients who most need regular health services while freeing up physicians' time to provide care and actually increasing patient visits.
The author, a family physician, describes how he changed his practice model to work with two nurses simultaneously, allowing them to take on more of the work for each patient encounter so that the physician could focus on the patient.
This article describes the role of a health coach.
The authors examine several ways that the work of medical assistants changes as practices make the transition to medical home status, and they suggest several strategies used by such practices to help medical assistants work at the top of their abilities and licensure.