Guest blog by James Legan, MD, internist, Northwest Physicians, Great Falls, MT
Efficiency, efficiency, efficiency. I think every physician should sit down for several hours and do his nurse’s job.
Does she have a single monitor or dual monitor for her desktop? How many times does she have to minimize and maximize her different applications to carry out a task?
How many applications on her computer does she manage?
Does she e-fax or use the old time fax machine, and how does she enter addresses into the fax machine?
Does she e-mail patients? Or secure message or use secure e-mail?
How much time does she scan paper information into the chart?
How does she integrate the electronic record, faxing, telephone, patient portal, scanning, or do multiple employees manage these tasks, and how efficient is the process?
A while back I watched my nurse train another and could not believe the incredible number of times minimizing and maximizing screens to carry out simple tasks, and implemented a dual monitor screen. She is incredibly more efficient with the minor change.
One of the reasons Sean Ramsey gets my “attaboy” , his company has given my office a solution I never envisioned it needed. When I started using Updox my main goal was to start e-faxing.
The e-faxing essentially negated the use of my Fujitsu scan snap scanner which sits idly most days now, and with the address book, my nurse is not wasting time looking up addresses, but painlessly receives, sends and manages in the same inbox I see on my computer.
The secure messaging feature of the patient portal, also is managed in the same inbox, and when starting Updox, I really had not thought much about. But having e-faxing, the patient portal, and now the secure emailing with other offices, Updox provides one inbox shared by the physician and his staff to co manage all of these functions to significantly reduce day to day inefficiencies running a primary care office.
Personally, only having one staff member, my nurse, manage Updox inbox and all of these features to reduce inefficiencies and improve patient satisfaction works best for me. A convergence of tasks with the best and least amount of staff is how technology will improve the small office.
I think if this solution is not right for you, then at least think about some of these daily, multiply carried out tasks done on a daily basis, and come up with ways to reduce the wasted energy of running your practice.
Reprinted with permission. Follow Dr. Legan on twitter, read his blog and learn more about his #ProjectedEHR program. Learn more about how Dr. Legan uses his Updox patient portal to improve patient care at http://health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2014/06/30/how-patient-portals-are-changing-health-care