By Abby S. Van Voorhees, MD, August 01, 2013
Efficiency in practice ... Seems to me that this is the signature of the decade, with each of us struggling to continue to do what we do well, but in a more streamlined way. So I loved Gilly Munavalli’s piece this month about handling pathologic and laboratory results in his EHR. I have implemented a similar process of scanning and communicating with the staff. At first the staff balked at the notion of scanning results into our EHR the same day that they are received. And physicians worried about the loss of security that would accompany a lack of paper. Understanding the importance of the flow of the notes once these results were reviewed also was baffling. But once the process was implemented, everyone found that it made the work of following up on lab results easier and safer. It is just a new and more efficient way to function in the 21st century. How nice to know that my colleagues in rheumatology and GI can also see those results right away; perhaps this even helps to avoid some unnecessary repetition of labs for my patients. So be sure to read this piece; I think that it is the way of the future.
Our clinical feature this month is on rosacea. For so long we’ve been fairly good at controlling the inflammatory papules, but in the dark about the most effective way to address the erythema. For patients, our clinical limitations in this arena have been frustrating. Our piece on rosacea is one that you’ll not want to miss. We want to be sure that you are up to date on some of the latest developments both in the understanding of this disease and the potential up-and-coming new treatments. Our article shines light onto these new findings.
High deductible health plans have come of age. While they’ve been around for a while it is only in the past year or so that they have become commonplace. I think that we all know the problem with them — people enjoy their lower premiums, but “forget” that they will be responsible for those first costs of health care. We’ve started to see these plans create new paradigms of health care spending as people feel the pain of the expenses of their visits, tests, and medications more personally. This is not a trend that is soon going to disappear, so we wrote one of our features this month on this topic. We will all need to think about how to adjust and accommodate this new-ish insurance reality.
Who amongst us has plans to take the summer off? Well, must reading for you (as well as the rest of us who wish we were taking the summer off) is this month’s coding column on billing for a covering physician. Understanding this technical aspect is critical to the success of vacation plans. When that long vacation finally beckons, remember that you can search this piece online at the DW website. Time for R and R is important for keeping us sane. Read the article and maybe start some planning.
Enjoy your reading!