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Fam Pract Manag. 2010;17(6):40

Stop playing phone tag with patients

We were having a hard time reaching our patients with the phone numbers in their records and were tired of playing phone tag. By training our front-desk staff to ask patients, “What is the best number you can be reached at if our medical staff needs to speak to you?” we have dramatically increased our ability to contact patients on the first call.

Apply petroleum jelly to lesions before treatment

We see a lot of patients who require cryotherapy for various lesions. I use a cotton swab to apply petroleum jelly around each lesion that I plan to treat with the cryotherapy gun. This creates an enclosed area (a sink) so that there is no over-spraying of the liquid nitrogen, and it also helps me locate each lesion.

Receive feedback gracefully

It's often easier to give feedback than to receive it. Yet, in order to develop ideas and gain skills, it is essential to listen to feedback and learn from it. Here are some tips:

  1. Be willing to hear what's being said.

  2. Don't get defensive or attack the person providing feedback.

  3. Ask clarifying questions.

  4. Separate yourself from the criticism.

  5. Be appreciative of constructive feedback.

  6. Make a plan to put the feedback you receive into action.

Reducing phone tie-ups associated with open access

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Practice Pearls presents readers' advice on practice operations and patient care, along with tips drawn from the literature. Send us your best pearl (250 words or less), and you'll earn $50 if we publish it. Send pearls, questions, and comments to fpmedit@aafp.org, or add your comments below.

 

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