Friday, May 3, 2013

Potential Doctors Spending Less Time with Patients

My opinion: Whenever I volunteer in the hospital, I notice that the doctors are often in an office at their computers.  The people who are seeing the patients most often are the nurses.  It seems to me as if the nurses also walk around much more than the doctors do.  Perhaps one way to solve this issue is to add more medical administrators - these people can process orders.  However, I believe that hospitals are already filled and burdened by too many administrators - should these administrators be replaced by ones who process doctors' orders?  If doctors do spend more time with their patients, I wonder if it should be spread out throughout the day.  This way, the doctor knows how the patient is feeling over a long period of time, which gives a more accurate picture of the patient's health.  Also, if the doctor visited the patient for only one long period of time, it might be unnecessary and boring.  If the patient is fatigued, though, he or she will be sleeping most of the day, so it may be difficult to find a time to visit.  Any other ways to fix this problem, or is this not a big issue?  Feel free to comment.

Docs-to-be spending less time bedside

Clinicians-to-be are losing touch, according to a recent Johns Hopkins study, which clocks the time medical interns spend talking and examining patients at 12 percent, superior only to time spent walking about a facility (7 percent) and partaking in other miscellaneous tasks (9 percent).
"One of the most important learning opportunities in residency is direct interaction with patients," said Lauren Block, MD, a clinical fellow in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and leader of the study, in a prepared statement. "Spending an average of eight minutes a day with each patient just doesn't seem like enough time to me."
A subject pool of 29 internal medicine interns were observed by researchers over the course of three weeks and 873 hours at Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland Medical Center. Intern activity was marked via an iPod Touch app; every shift minute was accounted for, the study proclaimed.
What Block and crew found was that the bulk of the modern residency was allocated to indirect patient care pursuits (64 percent) — such as order placement, electronic record upkeep and patient history research — a trend only accentuated by the many technological advances made on the healthcare front over the years. While this has always been the case, investigators were particularly concerned that trainee bedside presence seemed to be plummeting even further (studies from 1989 and 1993 ranked direct patient interaction at 18-22 percent) despite tech systems in place geared toward increasing patient-doctor face time.


1 comment:

  1. Internship or housemanship, involves and should involve all those aspects. Because out there in the real world, you may have to do the phlebotomy, you may have to order the drugs and prescribe them. The above mentioned are not solely admin work. But the problem is with multi tasking and prioritization. Patient should always come first.
    We, as medical professionals are losing the touch of multitasking, with the dawn of minuscule specialties. we hope to get the other person to take responsibility for it.
    To subdue this problem, the doctors have to up with the technology. They have to load the information while at the bedside or at the nurses station. They have to be able to order the drug t the bedside itself.