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The Efficient Clinical Session. October 14 th , 2010 Peggy Chou, MD Craig Noronha, MD Section of GIM. Objectives . At end of this seminar we hope that providers can Work more effectively during their clinical sessions Manage patient interactions more efficiently

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the efficient clinical session

The Efficient Clinical Session

October 14th, 2010

Peggy Chou, MD

Craig Noronha, MD

Section of GIM


At end of this seminar we hope that providers can

  • Work more effectively during their clinical sessions
  • Manage patient interactions more efficiently
  • Develop advanced logician techniques
current reality vs dreamworld
Current Reality vs Dreamworld
  • BMC is NOT getting a new electronic medical record system in the near future
  • Electronic medical records are NOT going to disappear from the United States health system
  • We are being asked to see more patients with more medical problems in shorter periods of time
  • Our patients problem and medication lists will get longer as they age and acquire medical morbidities
so what can we do
So what can we do????
  • Develop Habits that allow us to be more efficient in clinical settings
  • Use our clinical interactions with patients more effectively
  • Use the EMR system to our advantage or at least speed up what we are doing
helpful habits
Helpful Habits

Make the chart easier to focus:

  • Reorder/Clean up medication and problem lists
  • Add comments to medical problems to help you in future visits
  • Add titles to visits i.e. visit for knee pain
being proactive
Being Proactive
  • Look at the patient’s chart BEFORE you sit in front of the patient.
  • Looks up labs, review ED reports, other provider visits etc
  • Start placing orders before seeing patients
show up early
Show up early
  • You cannot control if the patient or staff are running late. BUT if you start late you will never finish on time.
do only clinic work during sessions
Do only clinic work during sessions
  • Do not check emails or web browse
  • If you have down time- sign notes, sign forms, review patients for tomorrow etc
do today s work today
“Do Today’s work Today”
  • The longer you leave notes the longer it will take to finish them
  • If you see labs that are normal– do a quick follow-up letter.
  • Use a results letter/form in logician
do not leave the room unless you have to
Do Not Leave the Room Unless You Have To
  • Page the staff or call them if you need to
  • Minimize interruptions by negotiating with staff up front
in the room
In the room…
  • Computer-patient-MD triad
  • Setting the agenda…..and setting limits
  • Letting go…
  • Refresh
working with the computer
Working with the computer
  • Most efficient if type while talking with patient
  • Position computer if possible
  • Acknowledge the computer, apologize if necessary (especially if positioning is less than ideal)
setting the agenda setting limits
Setting the agenda…setting limits
  • Negotiate agenda up front. This allows you to set limits later
  • Let the patient control as much of the agenda as possible
  • “In the time that we have….” “We need to stop for today…”
  • “Do today’s work today” BUT balance with continuity of care
baker lh et al what else setting the agenda for the clinical interview annals 2005 143 10 766 770
Baker, LH et al “’What Else?’ Setting the Agenda for the Clinical Interview” Annals 2005 143 (10): 766-770
letting go
Letting go…
  • Patient in control of the agenda


  • Staff in control of the flow


You can focus on the patients


In the middle of the session, take a 2 minute break:

Quick walk



logician tips
Logician Tips
  • Quick text- how to make one and use one
  • Using previous notes to your advantage
  • Flag management
  • Result management
  • Organize medications and problem lists

htnros =Patient denies any headache, blurred vision, chest pains, shortness of breath, orthopnea, or leg swelling. Patient reports that she takes all medications as directed.

how to future flag yourself
How to “future” flag yourself

Flag yourself WHEN you need to worry about something

  • Helps prevent “overflagging” so that you loose track of important things
  • Good way to remind yourself about following up on patient’s studies, outcomes, visits with other providers etc
  • Good way to remind yourself to ensure that tests got done ie CT scans that need repeating etc
how to manage results
How to manage results???
  • If you have several results for one patient sign all but one of them- makes your desktop look cleaner
  • Result letters- use them to your advantage for stable or normal results
  • Call the patient only if you have to
organize your medication and problem lists
Organize your Medication and Problem lists
  • Place the highest priority or cannot miss diagnoses/medications at the TOP
  • Place less important diagnoses/medications at the bottom and indent them
  • Add comments to your diagnoses/medications
  • Remove old resolved diagnoses ie URI in 2004