• Need more time? Train a nurse closer to wrap up patient visits

    Training a nurse to finish patient visits can make your practice more efficient and improve patient outcomes. Physicians can operationalize the nurse closer model in their clinics by following these five steps.

    1. Start each day with a team huddle. You (the physician), the nurse, and the rest of the care team will preview the day’s patients, identify preventive care needs, and create a checklist for each visit.
    2. Near the end of the visit, call in the nurse. After the medical assistant has completed the patient intake process and you have completed your exam, call in the nurse closer to meet the patient. (You may want to do this earlier if it’s a particularly complex case.)
    3. Recap the visit with the nurse acting as a scribe. Summarize the diagnosis and tell the nurse what tests to order.
    4. Review the checklist from the morning huddle. The list should include clinical reminders based on diagnoses, age, and gender; including whether the patient is due for any vaccinations or screenings.
    5. Say goodbye to the patient, and let the nurse wrap up the visit. The nurse can then handle tasks like adding the patient to the EHR portal, answering the patient’s questions, giving immunizations, and scheduling follow-up appointments.

    By the time the nurse is done, you will have had time to begin the next patient visit, and you may even be ready for the nurse to come in and close that visit.

    Read the full article in FPM: “The Nurse Closer: Using Nonclinician Staff to Make Patient Visits More Efficient."

    Posted on Aug 28, 2020 by FPM Editors

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