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Physicians’ Practice Management Issues

And four more news items for doctors and other healthcare professionals to peruse this week

  • Last week, Medscape published its Practice Workflow Report 2017: Physicians’ Bottlenecks, Challenges, and Time, the result of a survey sent to more than 1,150 doctors to learn more about practice matters. Among the findings featured in the slideshow: 36 percent of providers see 21 to 30 patients a day, 28 percent of physicians fall behind their appointment schedules daily, and 43 percent say better technology would improve their office efficiency.
  • A study approved by the Johns Hopkins Medicine Institutional Review Board finds overtreatment in the United States is commonplace and an enduring dilemma. More than 2,100 physicians participated in the research, which was published in PLOS ONE earlier this month. The majority of the respondents (64.7 percent) believe 15 to 30 percent of medical care, at minimum, is unnecessary. Fear of malpractice, patient demands, and difficulty accessing prior medical records were considered the most common reasons for overtreatment.
  • While a number of patients routinely visit popular consumer websites to find highly rated doctors, there is no meaningful correlation between mean consumer ratings and a physician’s clinical performance, a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association reveals. Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles conducted an observational analysis of 78 physicians representing eight medical and surgical specialties across ratings platforms. Findings indicate a provider’s score on one platform significantly predicted his or her score on another in five of 10 comparisons.
  • Earlier this month, Today/NBC News highlighted the MasSpec Pen, a probe that can identify cancer cells in real time to enable faster diagnosis and help surgeons remove tumors with greater precision. According to the team of researchers at the University of Texas at Austin who developed the pen-like device, it is accurate 96 percent of the time. (The technique currently employed most often to detect cancer is both time consuming and more likely to produce errors.) With backing from the National Cancer Institute and the Cancer Prevention Research Institute, the team filed patents for the technology.
  • The Wellness Think Tank, a virtual community of practice created by Academic Life in Emergency Medicine, recently published Physician Wellness Apps for Emergency Medicine Physicians. Bodyspace, Happify, and List Master are just a few of the more than two dozen smartphone apps recommended for improving factors that range from individual perceptions and habits around food and diet to professional scheduling and personal planners.
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