As a general rule, most physicians launch an independent practice so they can help their patients. At some point, though, that focus can get lost amid the paperwork, rules and regulations, insurance requirements, and other non-patient related administrative burdens. As an independent physician, you can return your practice to the patient-centered and patient-centric organization you intended it to be.
Physicians Practice offers some helpful ideas:
During the visit, focus on the patient. Maintain eye contact. Using electronic health records (EHRs) will help you maintain accurate medical records and access them efficiently, but while the patient is in the room, keep your focus on the patient and have a meaningful discussion that keeps the patient at the center of your attention.
Stand up to insurance companies. Physicians Practice advises to “examine your practice and who is controlling it.” If insurance companies are making it more difficult for you to do what you know is in your patient’s best interest, drop those companies. In fact, many independent practices are forgoing insurance companies completely and forming Direct Primary Care (DPC) practices.
Take the time to communicate with your patients. Listen to their concerns and answer their questions. A patient-centric independent practice puts the patients first, even when you feel you are in crunch mode, time-wise.
Give your patients access to their records and to you. Quite often, patients think of questions after their visit. They may have forgotten instructions regarding medication or a follow-up care plan. They may also want to see their medical information online. EHRs give them that access, so your patients know they are at the center of your practice.
As an independent physician, do not lose sight of the fact that your patients should be the reason you practice. There are many tools to assist you with administrative tasks, but keep these points in mind as well throughout the day to make your practice more patient-centered and patient-centric.