Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Playing Beat the Clock

Too bad medicine in the primary care arena has come to this - an average primary care physician covers six topics in 15.7 minutes, one of which covers 5 minutes and the others about 1.1 minutes. This leaves 5.2 minutes for the physical exam, formulation of a plan, prescription writing or lab ordering, documentation, and billing.

If true, the average patient would be well-advised to prepare for their visit ahead of time: bring your medication list with dosages, allergies and prioritize your concerns. That way, your short time is well spent.



Working Girl said...

Time is tight all over! And patient care can really put me behind in my paperwork!

just joking...sort of...

jmb said...

Probably have to churn them through fast to make a reasonable income, poor things. The doctors that is, well maybe the patients too, sometimes.

Once I went to my PCP with a lump on the base my neck which I couldn't even see but could feel. He said it's an infected sebaceous gland. I said, so are you going to lance it? He said, can I? Usually the patients with this want me to give them antibiotics and when that doesn't work, they come back and I lance it. I said, let's do it. So he did and I was out the door, with a gauze drain in it, in four minutes flat. I looked at my watch and was amazed at how quick the visit was.
He's a very good doctor, but then I'm a very good patient. And healthy thank God, even though I'm "long in the tooth".

Anonymous said...

Doctors like us good patients! I'd be embarassed to be anything else. Makes for good and interesting visits for both the patient and the doctor, I think. (and this is only based on the feedback I get from my own docs). That's one of the reasons I enjoy Dr. Wes' website. I learn a bit, and enhance my knowledge.