Our mission is simple: to give family physicians the tools and information they need to build rewarding practices and improve patient care. FPM's mission has changed very little since our beginning 24 years ago. Our focus on improving patient care involves helping you deliver more effective, efficient, timely, safe, equitable, and person-centered care. Our focus on building rewarding practices has to do with your personal satisfaction – helping you succeed and find meaning in practice, the opposite of burnout.
In this issue we present five articles that address one or the other side of this two-sided “mission” coin – your patients' experience receiving care from you and your experience providing it. I encourage you to read all of the articles, and a particularly good starting place is “Reducing Frustration and Increasing Fulfillment: Reframing” by Jay Winner, MD. Reading his short article, if you take it to heart, is like receiving several sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy very efficiently. You learn how to look differently at patient behaviors and practice stresses that really irritate you and then respond to them in an alternative fashion and with better outcomes. Taking this approach should increase your satisfaction – and your patients'.
The article by Farzad Mostashari, MD, and colleagues, “Finding the Bright Spots in Value-Based Care,” provides a wealth of insights into how to succeed in today's reimbursement environment, which is increasingly moving to payment based on quality and cost outcomes. The authors explore important areas including promoting annual wellness visits, identifying high-risk patients, having an effective and thoughtful referral process, doing transitional care management, and spreading change by identifying and implementing small steps that work.
Motivational interviewing is a technique that has been shown to work very well in promoting behavioral changes among patients who have not been terribly interested or successful at change. “How to Talk to Reluctant Patients About the Flu Shot” by Colleen Fogarty, MD, and LaTresha Crues, LPN, is a short read that shows you how to efficiently use the Ask-Tell-Ask technique in motivational interviewing to get better flu shot immunization rates.
The use of electronic health records has become a great source of dissatisfaction in primary care. The article by Steven Waldren, MD, and colleagues, “Technology Trends and Tools for Better Patient Care: Beyond the EHR,” doesn't offer the solution. But it does offer hope by outlining current and developing information technologies that could and should make practice better. We can expect patient portals and telehealth to grow in importance. Point-to-point physician-to-physician communication should improve with “direct” secure messaging. Machine learning, computer vision, affective computing, virtual assisting, and the “Internet of Things” will likely influence our practices sooner that we'd think. Preview our future.
Finally, “Evaluating Physician Employment Contracts: How Do Your Benefits Measure Up?” by Travis Singleton and Phillip Miller enables readers to go beyond base salary and assess other important components of compensation when evaluating employment contracts.
We want to continue to fulfill our mission and serve you well. If you have topics you'd like us to consider, please send them to me at the email address below or take the CME quiz for this issue and include them in your comments.