Many practices are looking for ways to optimize the role of nurses and medical assistants to improve efficiency. First Care Clinic in Hays, Kan., uses a “nurse closer” model. Toward the end of the patient visit, the physician or other clinician contacts the nurse to come to the exam room, introduces the patient to the nurse, recaps the visit, and highlights recommendations and instructions. The nurse enters the information in the electronic health record and reviews patient-specific preventive care recommendations.
The physician or other clinician then leaves the exam room, and the nurse completes a few additional steps, such as refilling medications, answering patient questions, providing education, scheduling tests or follow-up visits, administering immunizations, etc.
But one task the nurse completes is particularly helpful when it comes to saving time down the road: The nurse verifies the patient is enrolled in the patient portal, which the practice has made mandatory. The nurse can even provide a brief tutorial if needed.
This one step has reduced the volume of patient phone calls to the practice, freeing up the nurses to spend more time with patients during their visits.
Don’t have a patient portal? Here’s how to get started.
Read the full FPM article: “The Nurse Closer: Using Nonclinician Staff to Make Patient Visits More Efficient.”
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