Does Your Doctor Devote Enough Time To Your Care?

September 18, 2016

 

 

You've probably noticed a change in your doctor's demeanor during your last several visits.

 

Do not blame your physician. You could've missed the latest medical news:

For every 1 hour that physicians spend with patients, they spend nearly 2 hours on electronic health records (EHR) and paperwork within an average day. They also spend another 1 to 2 hours of personal time doing additional computer and other clerical work at home each night to “keep up,” according to a time-and-motion study published September 6, 2016 in Annals of Internal Medicine. (Christine Sinsky, et al.  Allocation of Physician Time in Ambulatory Practice: A Time and Motion Study in 4 Specialties. Ann Intern Med. Published online 6 September 2016).

 

Time spent on EHRs instead of on patient care is contributing to patient dissatisfaction. Physicians spend most of their time addressing the "problem of the day", not personalized disease management that would lead to long-term prevention and treatment of chronic illnesses.

Researchers found that physicians spent 27% of their total office day on direct clinical face time with patients and more than 49% of their time on EHRs and desk work. Even while in the exam room, physicians spent about 53% of the time on direct clinical patient interaction and 37% on EHRs and desk work. They spend more time looking at the computer screen than at their patients.

 

As an internist, primary care doctor, I generally like spending time with my patients and dislike the associated paperwork. A lot of my colleagues repeat the same statement time after time:

“I am a doctor, not a data entry clerk, not a telephone operator,.. this is not why I decided to go into medicine”!!!

 

At a time when the nation is facing projected physician shortages, a Mayo Clinic study showed an association between burnout and declining professional satisfaction, with physicians reducing the number of hours they devote to clinical practice. (Professional burnout associated with physicians limiting practice. Mayo Clinic, 4/4/16)

 

Many patients have multiple problems. As the number of problems increases, we, the doctors, must spend more time with each patient, yet our current insurance environment ignores that.

Internists often feel pressured to see patients in less time than the patient needs and deserves. This conflict creates great discomfort, and we all suffer: patients feel neglected, and doctors feel unsatisfied with the care they provide.

 

Our payment system “penalizes” us for spending extra time with a patient, yet the patients and we know that we should. We believe that spending adequate time would help our patients to stay healthy and happy.

Physicians must focus on the quality of the visit, not on arbitrary quantity performance measures, as required by our Government and Insurance Companies.  We need time for thoroughness and reflection.

Internists care for many complex patients. Our patients often have multiple chronic and acute medical conditions, as well as psycho-social issues.

Physicians can do more for our patients both diagnostically and therapeutically. We have extensive knowledge of preventive strategies, but we cannot provide the highest quality care in 10-15 minute increments.

It's up to the patient to explore other options, like individualized Concierge Medicine.

Your personal physician will understand the correlation between “quality of health” and “quality of life”. His objective is to provide each patient with optimal health, vitality and longevity.

This is achieved by:

  • Establishing a one-on-one relationship with each patient – knowing them by name and      understanding they are a complete individual, not just a medical chart.

  • Investing the time necessary to practice preventive health and wellness-centered care.

  • His commitment to excellence and dedication to the well-being of each patient.

  • Maintaining an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and successful patient outcomes.

  • Embracing proven medicine and the latest advancements in technology.

  • Offering services and products which will enhance your health and care.

  • Bringing clarity to a complex health care system.

  • Coordinating care with specialists, hospitals.

Please contact Dr. Koganski's office at 215-750-7000 to schedule your complimentary visit to see how this individualized approach can benefit you. www.newtowninternalmedicine.com

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St. Mary Medical Office Building

1205 Langhorne-Newtown Rd, Suite 202

Langhorne, PA 19047

Tel: (215) 750 - 7000

Fax: (215) 750 - 9572

Email for Patient inquiries: info@newtowninternalmedicine.com

Email for Business inquiries: info@drvalkoganski.com

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