Fam Pract Manag. 2019 Jul-Aug;26(4):35.
- REDUCE TIME SPENT DOING OTHER PHYSICIANS' PAPERWORK
- SEND PREVENTIVE SERVICE REMINDERS ACCORDING TO BIRTH MONTHS
- HELP PUT PATIENTS AT EASE DURING VISITS
- IDENTIFY PATIENTS' UNMET SOCIAL NEEDS TO FACILITATE REFERRALS
REDUCE TIME SPENT DOING OTHER PHYSICIANS' PAPERWORK
Family physicians often get asked to fill out patient documentation and other forms that should be handled by specialists or other health care professionals. Here is how I have avoided these tasks, which reduces my work after clinic:
If a home health agency asks me to sign the nursing orders for a recently discharged patient of mine who I didn't know had been hospitalized (often for a hip replacement or other surgery), I ask who ordered the nursing care and then recommend the agency contact that person. I explain that the ordering physician or other provider is more familiar with the patient's case and should have that responsibility. I add that I can assume responsibility once I see the patient again and become familiar with his or her care.
If a cardiologist is managing my patient's atrial fibrillation with warfarin, I make sure that physician is also managing the patient's international normalized ratio testing. Some have complained, but they generally acquiesce when I point out that I shouldn't have to manage the labs when I am not handling the underlying condition.
If a patient sees a specialist for a disability, I do not fill out the disability papers. I point out that the specialist can best determine the extent of the patient's disability, likelihood of recovery, need for future care, etc.
SEND PREVENTIVE SERVICE REMINDERS ACCORDING TO BIRTH MONTHS
When managing population health efforts, such as reminding patients to schedule preventive services like physicals, Pap smears, or colon cancer screenings, send out your reminders according to the patients' birth months. This can help to more evenly distribute demand for these types of appointments throughout the year rather than sending
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU
Practice Pearls presents readers' advice on practice operations and patient care, along with tips drawn from the literature. Send us your best pearl (250 words of less), and you'll earn $50 if we publish it. We also welcome questions for our Q&A section. Send pearls, questions, and comments to email@example.com, or add your comments below.
Copyright © 2019 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for copyright questions and/or permission requests.
Want to use this article elsewhere? Get Permissions