How long should an office visit be? Is 20 minutes enough? Can you call that patient-centric care?
This seems like a silly question. Of course it is not enough. But physicians today feel the pressure to see more and more patients, faster and faster due to increasing financial pressures. Fred N. Pelzman, MD has a very interesting perspective on this issue I wanted to share.
In his September 1 Medpage article "20 Minutes Enough for an Office Visit? Yeah, Right. You've got a list you want to discuss? So do I", Dr. Pelzman shares his view on the subject. Click here to read article on Medpage.
"Walking away, thinking back on our encounter, it struck me again, as it often does, that the idea of the 20-minute office visit, where we are expected to deal with the entire spectrum of health conditions and issues that our patients bring to us, to really get to the core of their health, to help them get through barriers to getting to a healthier state we all want -- well, 20 minutes just isn't enough."
"We have to take money out of the equation, remove the crushing expectations of the fee-for-service system, and let us design a patient appointment to be what we really think it needs to be, the entire team of our patient-centered model taking care of our patients until everything -- everything -- is done."
Read his outstanding list of suggestions on how we could improve patient care. I like this one, I think it sums it up nicely.
"We need to dramatically increase access for patients to the care they need at the right time at the right place."