It’s no secret today’s providers are overworked, spending a significant amount of time on electronic health records and administrative tasks.  In fact, a recent study from the Annals of Internal Medicine found that for every hour of patient care, providers spend another two hours on paperwork.

So why are providers spending so much time on paperwork instead of with patients?  Perhaps we can look to the evolution of the Office Visit note providers are expected to capture when visiting with patients.  While other countries may have a truncated and succinct note, an Office Visit note from a United States provider serves many parties – the provider, the provider’s team, the coder to bill properly, the insurance payer to provide appropriate payment, the government for quality care initiatives, and last but certainly not least, the patient. That’s a lot of information to document to ensure all parties are informed.  Heap on other documentation initiatives required for value-based and quality care reimbursement, completing forms for patients, and the many other administrative tasks and it’s easy to see how a provider’s day is quickly gobbled up by the many other necessary, but non-patient facing tasks.

As my colleague Melissa Mitchell recently experienced, provider’s visits are becoming shorter, and sometimes more hands-off.  As she asks in her article, whatever happened to “see me, feel me, touch me, heal me?”  Melissa is well aware that providers are being asked to do more and more with no additional time.  As a result, she suggests, something has to give, and sometimes it seems that means shorter visits with less physical examination of patients.

With a looming physician shortage, we need doctors to do what they were trained for a minimum of nine years to do – care for patients.  So what can we do to alleviate providers from the burdens of paperwork?  First, the overburdened provider is not the only issue.  Nurses and support staff are also bogged down in non-clinical tasks like status checks on medical records from angry attorneys, insurance payer reviews and audits, verifying insurance coverage and benefits, and more.  Finding ways to free up time from support staff can allow them to take on some of those tasks burdening providers.  When everyone in a practice works to the top of their license, the practice wins.

Here’s the good news – some of these tasks can be delegated or outsourced, allowing staff and providers to do what they do best – focus on patient care.  Business Associates, like ScanSTAT, are a great resource who specialize in specific areas to allow healthcare practices to offload burden and focus on patient-facing care.  Your practice doesn’t need to waste time answering phone calls from attorneys discussing their non-compliant authorization – you’ve got enough to do! Find an experienced partner who allows you to do what you do best and outsource the rest.

So, ready to have a conversation about eliminating some of the paperwork, phone calls, and daily stress from your practice to get back to patient care? We’ve got a whole team of experienced professionals here and ready to help.  Set up some time to talk with us today to see how ScanSTAT can help you focus on patients and not paperwork.


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