In today’s post-COVID health landscape, patients are not only flexible about telehealth and technology, but many are embracing it because of the convenience and time it saves them. Physicians are realizing that they need to think of creative ways to save time and energy by quickly addressing recurring questions.
What would you do to get a few minutes of breathing room in your day?
In today’s post-COVID health landscape many solo physicians are finding that it’s not enough to go about business as usual. They are realizing that they need to think ahead of the rest. And that kind of creative thinking takes time and energy.
The good news is that in the last 6 months we’ve seen something that has never happened before. We’ve seen medical norms change in response to COVID-19. And much of this change is actually very good. Because patients are not only flexible about telehealth and technology, many are embracing it because of the convenience and time it saves them.
So if you’re interested in a simple way to utilize this shift to benefit your patients as well as yourself - and get the extra bandwidth you’d never have otherwise, keep reading… because the answer is so much simpler than you might realize.
In last month’s article I talked about how to protect your staff’s time simply by changing your inbound phone processes.
But this month I’m not going to ask about your staff’s phone conversations. Instead I’d like to ask you about your own 1 to 1 patient conversations. Specifically, I’m asking if you ever find yourself repeating similar conversations throughout the day - with different patients.
Well, do you?
I would imagine some days you feel like Phil Connors, Bill Murray’s character from the classic movie Groundhog Day. Because your patients are constantly asking similar questions. And before you get to the specific nuances of their situation, you might find yourself repeating pretty basic stuff first.
There’s a lot of talk about energy use and energy policy these days, and rightfully so.
Regardless of the way they vote, 99% of your fellow physicians are using their conversations like fossil fuels. Single use conversations. Then they are repeating the same information with a different face. All day long.
What if there was an alternative to consuming your energy in this way?
Forward thinking physicians are beginning to view their conversations beyond the traditional 1:1 patient interaction. They rightfully see themselves as subject matter experts, and they realize that much of their know-how can be pre-recorded and prescribed to patients. Whether you use the mechanism of a podcast, a dial-by-number phone extension, or a website portal, this accomplishes amazing outcomes for both of you.
Here are just three:
1. You save time.
2. The patient listens to you on patient time.
3. You elevate your relationship.
Moreover, as you delegate this learning activity to your patient, you are changing the dynamic of your relationship. Simply by exposing your patient to a new way to learn from you outside the exam room, you are changing the dynamic from an authority figure to a trusted advisor or perhaps a coach.
The effect of this is to help your patients choose a healthier lifestyle and partner with you in walking that out. Whether you are a family doctor, a pediatrician, a surgeon or an interventional cardiologist, you can have an impact. You can help patients proactively choose healthy actions that elevate their lifestyles - and save time.
Sometimes the best benefit isn’t even the time savings. Sometimes the best benefit is in helping you offload unproductive conversations that can be difficult to quickly address in the moment.
Have your patients ever asked you one of these?
- The Question that Creates More Questions
- The Question that Takes Too Much Time
- The Legal Technicality Question
- The Loaded Question
- The Unpopular Policy Question
What did I miss? I’d love to add your favorite one to the list.
This is just one of several tools in the “Trust Toolbox” that strengthen your ability to serve your patients.
For an early look at how to implement this, reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.