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Monday Jun 22, 2020

The key to reducing work after clinic

Physicians spend, on average, one to two hours each night on electronic health record (EHR) tasks or paperwork, not to mention all the time they spend on these tasks during the workday.1 While changes are needed throughout the health care system to reduce administrative complexity, physicians must find ways to regain some control over their time and not burn out.

For many, the key to reducing work after clinic is to finish each chart before seeing the next patient. Adapt the adage “Do today's work today,” and aim to “Do this visit's work this visit.”

Strategies for finishing each chart during the visit include the following:

  • Delegate some documentation tasks to your staff,
  • Use previsit planning, which will allow you to walk into each patient visit with all of the necessary information on hand, organized, and ready — which will save you time,
  • Be open to new ways to document more efficiently, such as using macros or templates, avoiding over-documentation, or adjusting your computer setup in the exam room,
  • Use effective communication skills to quickly build rapport and set an agenda for the visit so it doesn’t get off track.

1. Sinsky C, Colligan L, Li L, et al. Allocation of physician time in ambulatory practice: a time and motion study in four specialties. Ann Intern Med. 2016;165(11):753-760.

Read the full FPM article: “Seven Habits for Reducing Work After Clinic.”

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Posted at 09:00AM Jun 22, 2020 by FPM Editors

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