Editor's Page

Doctor Tools


Fam Pract Manag. 2000 Sep;7(8):10.

You may have noticed the phrase, “tools for today's family physician,” near the top of the FPM cover. We put it there in part because we believe that everything published in Family Practice Management should be useful to family physicians, not just interesting. The purpose of FPM is not only to inform you but also to enable you to do your job more easily and, if possible, better.

The FPM tool box

But we also had a more particular meaning in mind when we added that phrase to the cover. We try to make sure that FPM carries a rich assortment of features you will instantly recognize as tools and want to put to use immediately — not just articles you may want to file, but tables and charts and lists and self-tests and quick-reference cards you'll want to clip out and keep close at hand.

One excellent example of this sort of tool is “ICD-9 Codes for Family Practice: The FPM Short List”. This quick reference, which is updated here for the third time, has found itself tacked up near work stations, taped to desk tops and adapted for use on the back of superbills all across the country. The AAFP sells hundreds of copies in addition to the ones bound into FPM each year. (By the way, as you'll see from this issue's installment of “Getting Paid,” our October issue will feature a longer version of the list that includes more precise codes.)

You also may be familiar with other FPM aids for evaluation and management (E/M) coding and documentation, including the FPM Pocket Guide to the Documentation Guidelines and the Level-4 Reference Card, both of which are available from the Academy's Order Department (800-944-0000), and with the standardized admission orders.

Recently published tools

But not every tool FPM publishes is a piece of extra-thick paper bound into the journal, and not every one is a coding reference. In fact, the number and variety of tools we publish may surprise some readers. For example, consider this list of tools published in recent issues:

Clearly no one family physician will find all of these useful, but every one of these tools is useful to at least some readers. I hope many are useful to you. If you missed any of these when they appeared, they are all available online (at no charge!) and, where appropriate, they're available in two or three different file formats. In fact, by the time you read this, links to these and other tools should be listed in a special “ FPM Toolbox” section of our home page to make the tools easier to find. As you can see, we aim not just to please, but to make your professional life better.

Robert Edsall is editor-in-chief of Family Practice Management.


Copyright © 2000 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
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