Once upon a time, doctors wrote short notes about their patients so they would remember what they’d been thinking about when the patient was last seen. They’d write down the symptoms, the physical exam, and the diagnosis and treatment plan. Enough so they or one of their colleagues would know what was going on if the patient called back or came in again.
Then the insurance companies got involved and started asking doctors to write more detailed notes for billing purposes. And doctors said, “Yes,” put their heads down, and did the extra work.
As managed care became more prevalent, costs started to rise and hospitals and offices (public and private) started asking doctors to see more patients in order to “keep their doors open.” Doctors said, “Yes,” put their heads down, and did the extra work.
Electronic medical records came along and, at least in the primary care world, doctors were asked to start typing their own notes. They said, “Yes,” put their heads down, and did the extra work.
While this is an extremely simplified view of the world of health care, I believe we need to start considering whether we want to keep saying, “Yes” to everything that is asked of us.
I read an article on office efficiency where an office manager recommended that the doctors in his office start doing six-minute office visits—he was not kidding.
At a certain point, we need to say “no” in order to maintain some quality of life—for our patients and ourselves.
What do you need to say “no” to in order to preserve (or reinstate) your quality of life?