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Dr. Hecht on how urologists can overcome barriers to clinical efficiency

Video

"Once you've decided that this is important to you, a good place to start is to identify your pain points; pay attention to what annoys you and don't be complacent about it," says Sarah Hecht, MD.

At the 2023 American Urological Association (AUA) Annual Meeting, Sarah Hecht, MD, and Jyoti Chouhan, DO, PharmD, FACS, delivered a course titled, “Work smarter, not harder– improving clinical efficiency.” In this video, Dr. Hecht highlights ways that urologists can overcome barriers to efficiency in practice. Hecht is an assistant professor of pediatric urology at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, Oregon Health & Science University in Portland.

Video Transcript:

The first step is to decide that you care about efficiency. I'll start with some encouragement: It is worth it. The investments in the systems pay off. It does help fight burnout. It can lead to better patient care. Once you've decided that this is important to you, a good place to start is to identify your pain points; pay attention to what annoys you and don't be complacent about it. Also, pay attention to things that you find yourself doing over and over. Repeatable tasks are the best targets for automation. This is a high-yield target for efficiency improvement.

There's no need to reinvent the wheel. So, if you see somebody else who seems to have it together, who seems to be moving through their day efficiently, mimic them. They've already figured something out, and there's no shame in standing on their shoulders. Standardization is a big opportunity for efficiency improvement. The means, personally standardizing how you care for particular problems. Do it the same way every time. Standardizing within a practice means between physicians, but also having shared pathways within a team. This minimizes your low-level decision making and minimizes confusion, which generates more work: more decisions, more questions, [and] more back-and-forth communications.

Don't attempt to multitask or switch between different types of tasks. Just get 1 thing done and then move along. Recognize that cognitive energy is a finite resource. We can't waste our time doing busy work. Even though as surgeons, we're very good at task completion and sometimes checking little boxes feels like we're doing something productive, we want to focus on the high-level stuff at the top of our scope.

This transcription has been edited for clarity.

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