How does your doctor spend their workday? There is actually an even split between office visits (read this: patient-care visits) and the “paperwork” that goes along with it. As a residency faculty who teaches new doctors, I have long told them that a doctor touches 200 items a day that are about patients, but not with patients. This includes laboratory results, consultant notes, and medication refills.
The study, published in April 2017 Health Affairs indicates that in an average day, a physician spends 3.08 hours face-to-face with patients and 3.17 hours with the computer one-on-one.
I am well-known by my patients to refill their medication (at their office visit) until their medical condition dictates that I should see them in the office for a follow-up. My hope is that the patient has the medication they need and that their hassles at the pharmacy (obtaining their medication) are less. And, for my workflow, it means that my patients are cared for and that I may get home on time by taking care of everything at their office visit and not after-hours with the computer. That sounds like a win-win to me.
Our medical system is becoming more and more bogged down with computer documentation. When I began in medicine 26 years ago life was so different… I’m doing my best to keep up with the changing times.
Please be patient with your physician.