How health IT can support patient-physician rapport

Physician practices run on tight schedules, and patients are feeling the crunch. According to a poll of 3,000 patients in the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany conducted by voice-recognition software company Nuance Communications Inc., 40 percent of patients say they feel rushed during physician visits.

3 practice-retention strategies borrowed from hospitals

Today, more than ever, running any type of healthcare organization is an all-hands-on-deck enterprise. Building a strong crew isn't easy. You need clinicians and employees who are not just highly skilled, compassionate and reliable, but who also fit the culture of your practice.

SGR repeal likely, but not a cure-all for physician challenges

Although physician groups criticized legislators for taking recess before voting on a proposed repeal of the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula, chances are good that the Senate will follow the House's lead and approve HR 1470 within the next two weeks, Medical Economics reported.

Report: Physician practices not hit by ACA access crisis

Despite opposition from its start five years ago, some fears related to the Affordable Care Act have failed to materialize. For example, the 16.4 million Americans who gained private health insurance over the past years did not flood physician office waiting rooms nearly to the extent anticipated. 

OIG warns against exclusive laboratory-physician practice deals

Practices drawn to the convenience of working with just one laboratory should think twice before entering exclusive arrangements, according to an advisory opinion issued this month by the Office of Inspector General.

As care access improves, patient wait times go down

Long wait times in medical offices have been a consistent source of patient dissatisfaction for years, but the trend may be beginning to reverse, according to a survey from The healthcare review website's sixth annual Physician Wait Time Report revealed that the average time patients spend stewing in waiting rooms has dropped by a minute over the past 12 months.

3 rules for effective communication (and when to break them)

The perfect communicator doesn't exisit. Rather, the art and science of exchanging messages is one we continue to hone throughout our lives, regardless of job title. As a writer, perhaps I'm...

Payers, regulators could smooth path to value-based payments

Despite the promise of lower costs and better care that value-based payment systems bring, medical providers need more help transitioning to these alternative payment models, according to a new study conducted by Rand Corp. on behalf of the American Medical Association.

Alzheimer's patients often left in the dark

Giving patients bad news is difficult. And when that bad news happens to be an Alzheimer's diagnosis, it's so challenging that most doctors avoid doing it, according to report released Tuesday by the Alzheimer's Association.

3 tips to maximize the power of practice meetings

Important ingredients that are often missing in meetings, according to a recent post from Harvard Business Review, include leaders' ability to demonstrate empathy and emotional control. These concepts apply to one-on-one interactions, too, as described in a recent post for Physicians Practice.

Why healthcare providers can't back down on SGR repeal

While there is no guarantee it will pass, there is hope that lawmakers' latest proposal to repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate formula will succeed. As with past attempts to do away with the formula, the $210 billion price tag, only $70 billion of which would be offset, is the key hurdle that may prevent Congress from passing the legislation, according to FierceHealthFinance.

Controlling chronic disease: What needs to change?

Although chronic disease represents the leading cause of death in the U.S., 40 percent of all premature death is due to behaviors amenable to change, noted authors of an article published in The American Journal of Medicine.

Retailers and PCPs: Rocky relationships persist

Retail clinics entered the healthcare marketplace over a decade ago, but physician offices' strategy surrounding them continues to be a work in progress, according to an article from Medscape Today.

How providers can promote health cost transparency

Americans' cries for health price transparency are growing louder, but their search for cost data remains mostly elusive, according to a report from Public Agenda. 

3 more ways to turn bad luck into fortune

Good news: A little more than a week post-op, I'm typing this commentary with both hands! While a broken wrist isn't a circumstance I'd wish on anyone, the lessons it continues to bring...

Patients' goals key to effective care

​There are critical questions missing when many physicians interview patients, according to an article in the Washington Post by family physician Mitch Kaminski, M.D. They are: "What are your goals for your care?" and "How can I help you?" he wrote.

Next generation PCMH: The community-centered health home

Some of the most powerful weapons in the battle against chronic disease have to do with lifestyle, yet physicians often struggle to get patients to follow through on advice to eat well and exercise. Emerging partnerships between physician practices and fitness centers aim to help solve this conundrum, according to an article from the State.

The pros and cons of in-office pharmacies

It's difficult for practices to ensure patients' medication adherence as patients often fail to fill or take prescriptions as directed for several reasons, with physicians often learning of the problem after a consequence occurs. But some practices have had success with in-office pharmacies.

Docs face Catch-22 when giving bad news

Patients perceive physicians wjp bear better news as more compassionate and even more trustworthy than those who tell patients less optimistic news in an empathetic way, according to a study published in JAMA Oncology.


3 steps for small practices to address patient safety

Small physician practices often don't have the same resources as larger organizations to formalize patient safety initiatives, but that doesn't mean they should ignore the risks. Much guidance is available to healthcare organizations in how to reduce problems such as falls and infections, and a recent Urology Times article highlights advice that is most practical for physician offices.