PRACTICE PEARLS

 

Fam Pract Manag. 2021 Sep-Oct;28(5):37.

DELEGATE MORE TASKS TO YOUR TEAM WITH CLINIC PROTOCOLS

Using clinic protocols is one way to leverage your medical assistants (MAs) so they can do more to support you and your patients. What your MAs are permitted to do depends on state regulations where you practice. But having formal protocols that fit within that framework can spur your staff to complete additional tasks before, during, and even after the patient visit.

Clinic protocols should include information about who authorized them (usually the clinic's medical director), the targeted patient populations (e.g., adults over age 18), the personnel authorized to perform the outlined tasks, the procedure steps, and the documentation process.

Once the protocols are written, distributed, and understood, clinic staff should recognize tasks for which protocols exist and complete them without waiting for a physician order.

Examples of tasks that MAs may be able to do with protocols include urinalysis, urine pregnancy test, rapid streptococcus test, peak flow lung capacity testing, pulse oximetry, A1C measurement (for patients with diabetes due for a reevaluation), urine microalbumin (for diabetes monitoring), urine toxicology (for chronic opioid refills), immunizations, mammogram orders, and tuberculosis skin testing.

ANSWER THESE FIVE QUESTIONS BEFORE YOUR NEXT BIG CAREER MOVE

When you've got a big decision to make about your career, answering these five questions can help you determine what to do:

  1. What are your feelings telling you? Write out the different paths you're considering and note how each one feels to you at a gut level.

  2. What matters to you? Identify your values and make sure your career choices align with them.

  3. What matters to other people? Your career choices affect your family and friends, so seek their input.

  4. What is the reality

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 fpmedit@aafp.org, or add your comments below.

 
 

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