Urology Times reached out to three urologists (selected randomly) and asked them each the following question: What factors reduce the time you spend with patients?
“Our time with patients is very truncated. EMRs actually get in the way of good care. They consume huge amounts of time. They take away, directly, from being able to sit with the patient, listen to them, and provide all the needed care. We are not able to give quality time to patients.
During clinic, we actually took a close look at this and found that for every 15-minute clinic visit, we spend 9 minutes on the computer doing what’s required by regulation, billing, or administration to finish notes for that patient. So a 15-minute visit is consumed with 8 or 9 minutes on the computer, and patients end up getting the short end. To keep it from being even worse, we spend a couple of extra hours every night afterwards completing the charts.
To try to keep patients from feeling shortchanged, I’ll sit and listen to them, and won’t start doing EMR for at least 4-5 minutes—just to hear them out. I’m consciously aware of the time crunch, because if I spend much more than that, I won’t have time to do what’s required on the EMR. If I had more time, I’d actually be able to listen to them—just be in the moment with them.”
Harold Frazier, II, MD