For every half hour spent on patient exams, doctors spend about an hour organizing, editing, and reviewing the patient’s associated EHR documentation. That effectively makes the average doctor’s day twice as long as it should be. We got to wondering, “What would doctors be able to do if maintaining records wasn’t a factor?” Here’s what we came up with:
Advancing Professional Development
Cutting back on documentation and data entry means doing more of what doctors really want to do - practice modern, effective medicine. It gets difficult to do that if practitioners are cramming learning time around busy work, when it really should be the reverse. With less documentation on their plates, doctors can:
- Attend Conferences
Various fields of medicine have conferences on an annual or more frequent basis that doctors and other staff can attend in order to gain new certifications or otherwise become acquainted with new and relevant issues in healthcare.
- Read More Research Journals
Two hours saved on documentation can mean two hours spent on reviewing health journal articles, the go-to learning source for innovative practice methods, new pharmaceutical findings, and other information that ensures doctors are delivering the latest and best healthcare services to patients.
- Submit Findings for Peer Review
Alternative to reading articles, doctors could prepare and execute their own research projects to gain new funding or prestige, relaying that back to their personal brand and status as an expert or to the health of the practice itself.
Running & Growing the Practice
Your current patients need the care and attention they deserve, which, in truth, does include carefully handling their documentation. However, time spent on documenting in an EHR could take time away from bringing new patients to the practice… something that might be important to keeping the office open and prosperous.
- Direct a Marketing Project
Doctors are the leaders and often the founders of their healthcare practices, so it usually falls to them to take steps that continue to move the business forward. That’s on top of actually administering care. Adding documentation time to the mix makes it kind of unfair, let alone chronologically impossible.
- Join a Consortium
By joining a consortium, doctors can ensure that their staff and healthcare practice is collaborating with other organizations to stay up-to-date with practices and contribute to establishing the standards that their facility should operate on. Earning back one hour in the week, or sometimes even month, can be enough to attend those consortium meetings.
...Actually Enjoying Life
The office is a big part of a doctor’s life, but believe it or not there actually is a world beyond that. Less documentation time means getting back home sooner and equalizing the scales of work-life balance.
- Vacation with Family
See your children grow up! Have a healthy marriage! Get a tan! These are all good things that doctors should be able to experience just like other human beings that don’t have to perform endless data entry.
- Take Up a Hobby
Always being mentally stuck in work mode prevents doctors from getting the recharge time that’s essential to having a productive day and being effective at solving patients’ health problems. Considering this, a hobby isn’t time wasted, it’s actually time well-spent - away from documentation.
How to Reduce Your Documentation Time
Now that we’ve laid out all of these nice alternative activities to time spent filling out patient records, it’d be nice if we gave doctors a way to actually try out those other activities, right? The mobile EHR app, iScribe, is a tool that combines speech recognition, clinical decision support, and a user-focused design to get doctors out of their cumbersome EHR system and on with their lives. With iScribe, you can actually complete your appointment’s notes, accurately and in full, by the end of the appointment itself. See how it works for yourself - click here to try iScribe.