Saturday, October 25, 2008

An "Ideal" Internal Medicine Practice (from Medical Economics)

Edi poses as Harrison's Principles of Internal...Image by ragesoss via Flickr
Via Medical Economics:
Faced with the prospect of seeing a new patient every 15 minutes, carrying a patient panel of 2,500 to 3,000, and entering a call group with weekend coverage reminiscent of residency, I thought about how I'd like my practice to be different. I established these goals: Provide half-hour visits; allow patients to see me the day they call, regardless of the chief complaint; offer unscheduled visits; offer house calls for acute-care problems; provide office, home, and pager numbers so patients can reach me conveniently; keep my practice small enough to keep my sanity and to remain available; and provide nearly continuous coverage for my practice...

A typical day begins with hospital rounds at 5:30 a.m. At 6:30, I'm in the office for the first of about 14 half-hour appointments. I see my last patient at 3 p.m. Average visits last 22 minutes, and two patients per day typically cancel, giving me time to answer phones, check labs, complete notes, etc. I answer the phone when not seeing patients, submit billing electronically, and post my own EOBs. My office manager and I speak continuously during the day about the calls she receives. We finish at about 4 p.m.

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