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The Amazingly Productive Doctor
Time and productivity go hand-in-hand. For years I’ve listened to physicians tell me how difficult it is to manage their time. They are continually and equally frustrated with not enough time and dead time – the time they are in the office, expecting to see a patient and the exam room is empty. Through many consulting experiences and examining medical practice operations, I have come to believe these two complaints are equally important. After all, if you don’t have enough time it is difficult to manage the time you do have! On the other hand, if you have dead time, it’s cause for concern and will result in loss productivity and less income.
Physicians’ time is often eroded because they take on things they shouldn’t and the staff should! When conducting site visits it is common to observe physicians consumed with tasks that could, with little effort and planning, be delegated to staff. Physicians need to ask themselves, “What am I doing that eats away at my time and doesn’t require my skills or judgment?” When these tasks are shifted to employees, doctors can improve their productivity, and just maybe they will actually get out of the office on time.
For many physicians delegating is easier said then done! There are a number of reasons physicians and administrators fail to delegate, some more common than others.
Most physicians, if they set their mind to it, can delegate more and enjoy the time they gain and the benefits it brings them. When staff is well trained and understands what the physician needs and expects from them, they keep patients moving and everyone works in “real time.” Working in real time means doing today’s work today. This simplifies the day at the office and leaves less clinical work behind.
KEY FACT: Delegate tasks that do not require your expertise and your productivity will climb at amazing speed.