Patient Care Outside of Office Visits
- Ami Schattner MD
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To the Editors:— The significant time spent nowadays by primary care physicians on patient care outside office visits has been the subject of two recent articles in the Journal 1,2. This is an unquestionably important topic, but it should not detract attention from one of its major causes. Time constraints have become an increasingly significant problem for physicians caring for ambulatory patients. The problem is widespread and common to many different health care systems 3. An often quoted study found that contrary to common belief, physician's time-per-patient has not decreased and may even have slightly improved over recent years 4. However, the increasing demands upon physician's time have already been widely acknowledged 5. We propose a new term and reference standard for future research—the time-to-task ratio (TTR), which is the time allocated for the patient–physician encounter divided by the number of obligatory assignments.
A patient–physician encounter whether in hospital or
- Chen MA, Hollenberg JP, Michelen W, et al. Patient care outside of office visits: a primary care physician study. J Gen Intern Med 2010; September 2 (Online First).
- Doerr E, Galpin K, Jones-Taylor C, et al. Between-visit workload in primary care. J Gen Intern Med 2010; August 11 (Online First).
- Konrad Tr, Link CL, Shackelton RJ, et al. It's about time: Physician's perceptions of time constraints in primary care medical practice in three national healthcare systems. Med Care 2010; 48:95-100. CrossRef
- Mechanic D, McAlpine DD, Rosenthal M. Are patients' office visits with physicians getting shorter? N Engl J Med 2001; 344:198-204. CrossRef
- Freeman GK, Horder JP, Howie JGR, et al. Evolving general practice consultation in Britain: issues of length and context. BMJ 2002; 324:880-2. CrossRef
- Schattner A. The silent dimension. Expressing humanism in each medical encounter. Arch Intern Med 2009; 169:1095-9.
- Patient Care Outside of Office Visits
Journal of General Internal Medicine
Volume 26, Issue 3 , p 234
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- Ami Schattner MD (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Medicine, Kaplan Medical Center, POB 1, Rehovot, Jerusalem, 76100, Israel