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Fam Pract Manag. 2003;10(9):12

To the Editor:

The checklist in “Focusing on Today’s Visit” [June 2003, page 59] is a great tool for every physician’s office. As a nurse, I know that many patients’ needs are not met during their office visits. In our defense, the nurse or physician can only address what the patient brings to our attention. Sometimes we don’t ask patients if they have other health issues to discuss because we know that several concerns may come up and, frankly, we just don’t have the time to discuss all of them. However, if we know from the beginning that there are, for example, three issues to discuss, we can address those issues in about the same amount of time we would have spent with that patient anyway. Using such a checklist can foster more comprehensive care, reduce unnecessary calls and lengthy office visits, improve doctor-patient communication and decrease patient anxieties. These benefits will make everyone happier.


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