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You can turn practice tips into money and fame (well, a little of each, anyway).

Fam Pract Manag. 2006;13(3):14

One very useful section of Family Practice Management, according to our reader surveys, is the “Practice Pearls” department. I can guess why it’s considered so useful. First, it’s a distillation of good ideas – “pearls” – from a variety of sources, so it is particularly likely to contain at least one idea you might find useful in your practice. Second, it contains a small but growing collection of pearls submitted by FPM readers. Those should prove to be especially helpful, since they’ve been tested in the trenches of family medicine. For an example in this issue, see “Reduce your malpractice risk,” submitted by Gretchen H. Johnson, MD. You’ll certainly see more in upcoming issues.

Although a few pearls used to appear in FPM as part of another department, the Pearls department itself is new; it started appearing only this past September. Readers are just coming to appreciate it, and we’re just beginning to get reader contributions to it. Consequently, to encourage submissions, we’re offering more than whatever little bit of fame comes from having your name associated with a really good idea; we’re offering a little bit of fortune: a bounty of $25 for every reader pearl we publish.

Got a pearl? Here’s your chance to get (a little) rich (sort of) quick. And I would bet you do have a pearl – probably more than one. If you’ve been in practice more than a few days, you’ve probably come up with at least one good idea that your colleagues would find useful. It doesn’t have to be a big idea after all; we’re only talking about little pearls – It just needs to be something another family physician would be pleased to come across. It could be a coding tip, a neat way to track test results, a handy mnemonic, a way to make the waiting room more pleasant or to cut patient waiting time, a tactic for dealing with detail reps or “thick-chart” patients or claim denials, a documentation time-saver or a no-cost way to improve staff satisfaction. In fact, given the range of concerns you deal with daily, it could be any of a thousand things. More, it could be some new twist you implemented two years ago and take for granted now. Just because it’s old hat to you, don’t assume that everyone already does it. Take a minute and send your pearls to

Although we’re paying only $25 for pearls, you can be sure they’re worth a whole lot more to your colleagues.

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Copyright © 2006 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

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