"40 patients a day"
That's the new goal set forth for the doctors and mid-level providers employed by a local "big box" healthcare system. "Keep your patient encounters to a maximum of 5 minutes"
5 minutes? Really?
5 minutes to introduce themselves (because you are unlikely to see the same "provider" each time), listen to your story of what brought you to the office, exam you, formulate a diagnosis, make treatment recommendations and answer any questions you may have in addition to discussing any treatment options.
- you have diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease or high cholesterol and need help getting your condition under control?
- you have more than 1 question or want to know all your treatment options?
- you have a mole that might represent skin cancer?
- you have an urgent issue that needs to be addressed?
I suspect the answer (because the doctor or mid-level provider only has 5 minutes) is:
- "schedule another appointment"
- "go search the web....here are some websites to look at"
- "I'll refer you to another doctor for that"
- "this is too much for me to address in an office visit, so I'm going to send you to the Emergency Department"
5 minute "rule"? Yeah, we don't like that so much and we suspect patients won't either.