How To Run A Lousy Patient Visit

Here's how to run a lousy meeting.

How did you feel about your last doctor visit? Rushed? Confusing? Looking at the back of the head of your doctor typing into the computer? Clueless when you left without an understandable action plan? Was your doctor grumpy?

Some doctors think it's time for slow medicine and to take more time with patients. You know. Back to actual high touch listening.

Here are some things we can do to get rid of lousy patient visits:

  1. Eliminate administrivia

  2. Outsource and make more efficient business processes

  3. More effective use of clerical, APPs and administrative staff

  4. Rethink how doctors get paid for talking to patients

  5. Effective use of clinical decision support systems to get to the answer faster

  6. Drill down on most important conversations in a given visit

  7. Better scheduling systems to minimize no-shows, delays and interruptions

  8. Better pre-visit information gathering and patient reported outcomes

  9. Clarify visit expectations with patients , companions and family

  10. Set a visit agenda and post visit action items (learn from how to run a lousy meeting)

  11. Better health information systems and electronic medical record user interfaces/user experience

  12. Eliminate unnecessary visits in the first place. No MAS.

Poorly run patient visits , just like that worthless meeting you will go to after reading this, is a time sink we can't afford. Think twice before you accept that Outlook invitation to your next patient visit.

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs

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