Seven Habits for Reducing Work After Clinic

Sumana Reddy, MD; FAAFP, Peter Rippey, MD, CAQSM; Arnold Cuenca, DO, CAQSM, FAAFP; Sumi Sexton, MD; Troy Fiesinger, MD, FAAFP; Kenneth G. Adler, MD, MMM; Brandi White


Fam Pract Manag. 2019;26(3):10-16. 

In This Article

Rethink who Does What

Throughout your workday, you probably have moments when you think to yourself, "Why am I the one doing this task?" You then have two choices. You can either keep doing it, or you can consider delegating the task to the most appropriate person (or automating it if possible). For example, set up standing orders for when your MA can give certain vaccines, enter refills in the EHR for certain medications, or perform diabetic foot exams. MAs can also help with documentation (discussed later in the article), carry out needed screenings such as the PHQ-2 for depression, or educate patients about topics such as inhaler use.

If your staff aren't working at the top of their licenses, consider whether it's because they aren't capable (meaning there's a performance problem or training opportunity you need to address) or whether they simply haven't been empowered to do so. Ultimately, their productivity and efficiency will affect yours, so it's in your best interest to resolve these issues even if you aren't their "boss."

For those physicians working with medical students, don't forget to use their skills to the maximum ability too. They can do patient call backs, spend extra time counseling patients while you move on to the next visit, and help look up information. This can be a learning experience for them and also helpful to you and your patients.