Family Practice Management is all about improving things – both for you and for your patients. We commonly have articles on how to provide higher clinical quality, be more efficient, or offer better patient service. We also have articles on increasing your personal satisfaction with your practice. The July/August issue touches on each of these topics.
With regard to higher clinical quality, “How to Help Your Patients Choose Wisely” by Kenny Lin, MD, et al, tackles the important topic of how to reduce or eliminate unnecessary care. Not only is it wasteful economically, but it is often dangerous clinically, leading to complications from procedures that shouldn't have been done in the first place. Read the article to learn how to appropriately identify unnecessary care and successfully educate your patients about it.
On the topic of better efficiency, “Should You Treat Patients Virtually?” by Preethy Kaibara, MD, Esq., discusses how to get paid for virtual visits and how to protect yourself medicolegally. Virtual care can be more efficient than in-person visits, but the payment options are still limited. Undoubtedly, that will change, so read up and be prepared.
In the patient service realm, “Patient Advisory Councils: Giving Patients a Seat at the Table” by Anjana Sharma, MD, et al, describes establishing a committee of patients to advise you on improving your care. Think of it as an ongoing focus group. Patients can be great at judging service quality. Your reward for successfully implementing the article's suggestions could be higher scores on those potentially income-limiting patient satisfaction surveys that are increasingly popping up.
Finally, regarding your career satisfaction, “The Physician Employment Trend: What You Need to Know” by Travis Singleton and Phillip Miller may not ease your mind. But it does provide useful data and provocative questions about primary care physicians moving into employment, certainly a key development of our time. Whether you are currently employed, thinking about it, or violently opposed to it, this article provides interesting facts and commentary to consider.
I hope you enjoy the wide assortment of articles this month. There's something for everyone, so please – read on.