Today’s physicians are busier than ever tackling high-volume schedules, chasing quality metrics and interpreting scads of data flowing into the electronic health record (EHR) 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If we believe that time spent with patients is the most important piece of our patient care, we must have the conviction and courage to do what is right and say no when we need to say no, whether it is to payers who don’t value our time, or government data collection mandates that take time away from our patients. In return, I ask my patients to appreciate our efforts to dedicate our time for them.
Patient satisfaction surveys are here to stay and, used correctly, can perhaps add value. But with all the information available today to patients, they will simply “rate” you with their feet, leaving for another provider if truly dissatisfied—no survey necessary, saving everyone a lot of time and energy.
Online patient communities are dramatically changing how patients engage with the healthcare community. In fact, more than 40% of patients say that information found via social media affects the way they deal with their health.
Keeping primary care practices open for more hours, particularly on nights and weekends, reduces patient visits to emergency departments for non-life threatening issues, according to a recent study published in PLOS Medicine.