Put patients to work during their wait time


A good suggestion to use patient waiting time more productively by getting them to read relevant material and prepare for the actual visit (I actually write out my questions for my Transplant clinic in advance). Much better use of time than reading old magazines. Quote:

Research has consistently shown that patient-centered communications (versus traditional physician-directed communications) can result in more productive office visits as measured by 1) the amount/quality of information shared by patients, 2) the number of questions asked by patients, and 3) and the level of patient retention of information shared by physicians.

These same studies show that the adoption of patient-centered communications adds little if any more time to the length of office visits. Once patients and physicians become proficient in the use of patient-centered communications methods, physicians may well be able to do more during the visit but in less time. Here are some of the techniques characteristic of patient-centered communications associated with increased visit productivity:

  1. Concise visit agenda setting and prioritization wherein both physician and patient agreed to what can be discussed within the time allowed. This also eliminates the “oh by the way” introduction of last-minute patient agenda items that can occur at the end of the visit.
  2. More concise sharing of relevant information by the patient
  3. Greater physician-patient agreement as to the diagnosis and treatment
  4. More collaborative decision-making
  5. More information retention by patients
  6. Greater patient adherence

Put patients to work during their wait time.


2 thoughts on “Put patients to work during their wait time

  1. Andrew,

    This is a great way to prepare while you wait. Thanks for the tip.

    I would also recommend that anyone going through a medical treatments for cancer keep a journal of their vital statistics and observations.

    Just for fun, (I am somewhat of a science geek) I have been keeping a health diary (weight, blood pressure symptons etc. ) for more than 9 years now. The data I gathered suggest that my cancer (DLBCL) started kicking in sometime in october 2011. I finally got my diagnosis in march 2012. I could have seen it coming but then again I do not go running to the doctor at every little cold symptom. In retorspect, I should have reviewed it before seing my GP. Perhaps she would have regognized some of the symptons and my treatments could have started sooner. Well that’s life!


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