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Cutting down on unncessary patient chart messages

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  • Lordosis
    replied
    90% of the time I order blood work to be done prior to an appointment anyway so there's always an adequate time to discuss the findings. Every once in awhile there is something significant that pops up that necessitates a more prompt phone call or message. And then there's always circumstances where Labs do not align with appointments or a generated during an appointment but then a follow-up would be sometimes necessary or a letter can be generated. There are always patients who nitpick about the insignificant and I have gotten to the point where I know exactly who they are and they have learned that if they want to have a discussion about their lab work it'll be done in a clinical setting rather than for free over the phone.

    The amount of free care I see other physicians do over the phone is shocking sometimes. Not only for the loss of revenue but also some of the leaps people take to handle patient concerns in a very patient satisfying way but not probably the best of care. For example calling in antibiotics or steroids etc based on nothing other than the patient requesting it or checking Labs based on vague symptoms sent through the portal.

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  • MDPhD_wishingitwasanMBA
    replied
    Agree that this should be screened by MA/RN first. Also if you use Epic you can build a whole set of "quick replies" for your most common messages (this can be in addition to your dot phrases). It took me about 2 months to fine tune this but I can usually get through my standard pt question inbox in 30-60min over the course of the day. Agree it is annoying about it being essentially unpaid work. Alternatively, I have been working on setting pt expectations that they need to see me in clinic if they want to discuss things or set up a virtual visit. (it is a never ended process though and I feel you).

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  • Otolith
    replied
    Have them all screened by the MA/nurse. That way if it is about getting an apt or refill they can just get everything ready for you to sign off. Then just have a quick text that says what "Random1" posted. This will cut out a lot of the work for you, then you can pick and choose which patients you message back personally. Set the precedent with staff and yourself what you are willing to spend unpaid time on.

    Good way to start is that try to have your MA's learn to translate everything or tee it up to either being signed off, or a yes or no question. If you cant answer the question in 1 sentence then have them schedule telephone, telehealth, inperson visit.

    Don't make it about revenue. Make it about budgeting your time. "Dr. X is very busy If you wish to speak with him/her its best to set up some type of appointment so he/she can give you their undivided attention."

    i'd ask how you treat phone notes? direct portal messages should be handled same way. Your staff should see them first...





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  • Dontgetthejab
    replied
    Originally posted by guitarguy23 View Post
    General question, but what have folks done to limit/reduce unnecessary patient messages through patient portals/charts? The uptick in patients messaging about clinically insignificant labs etc and requests for referrals has been more than I like.

    What limits/ground rules do others use to limit or help from being overwhelmed?
    For me I’m darned if I don’t answer them and darned if I do..
    I’m paid on production so if I don’t then respond or arrange an appt then I loose money.
    if I instead send to ma, who knows what they’ll do with it...

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  • SerrateAndDominate
    replied
    I obviously don't deal with these, but I do a lot of chart review for case work-ups. It seems most messages directed to the doc get screened by the nurse or CMA

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  • Random1
    replied
    You should not have to look at them as a physician. If you have to look at them, “please schedule an appointment, by phone video or in person so we can address your concerns”

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  • guitarguy23
    started a topic Cutting down on unncessary patient chart messages

    Cutting down on unncessary patient chart messages

    General question, but what have folks done to limit/reduce unnecessary patient messages through patient portals/charts? The uptick in patients messaging about clinically insignificant labs etc and requests for referrals has been more than I like.

    What limits/ground rules do others use to limit or help from being overwhelmed?
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