‘How Your Time Is Spent in Our Office’

From…..a visit to my internist.

Ok, this isn’t the usual Notes From The Road. But at my doctor’s office this morning I noticed a very neat breakdown of how a patient’s time is spent at the office. I’ll quote from it:

“On average our calculations show that it takes 13 minutes to process your insurance cards and verify that we have your correct demographic data while you are at our reception desk.

It will take about 31 minutes to draw your blood and organize it properly to meet the standards set for our CLIA (US government approved) laboratory. The urine analysis is done in that time interval as well…

Count on 49 minutes for the laboratory to process your blood while you see the medical assistant who will check your vital signs: blood pressure, pulse, height, and weight, waist measurements and oxygen levels. …You might also begin your visit with the physician during this interval as well.

Approximately 18 minutes later, the physician, after having gone over your medical problems with you, will give you your copies of the laboratory data and explain the results as well as the procedures that were done, and give you your prescriptions.

Adding up the figures, there are about 111 minutes for the average visit to the office. The complexity of operations required does not generally allow a shorter time to get the job done.”

Is this a good idea? Might some patients take this the wrong way? Do you have any notion of how much time your patients spend in the office, start to finish, or are you pretty oblivious? Leave a comment, twitter me @denisenapoli, or e-mail me, d.napoli@elsevier.com.

—Denise Napoli

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Filed under Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics

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