Recent headlines make the problem crystal clear—“For Each Hour of Clinical Time, Docs Spend 2 on Desk Work” from MedPage Today is a good example—but they don’t tell the whole story, at least where urgent care is concerned. The current hubbub stems from a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine that reveals physicians in ambulatory care settings spend almost 2 hours on clerical tasks for every single hour they spend with patients. Even in the exam room, physicians spent just 52.9% of their time dealing with the patient directly, and 37% on records and desk work. (Small wonder that another, unrelated study from locumstory.com found that 59% of physicians said they would like to spend more time with patients—even though that time keeps declining.) The picture is much rosier in urgent care, though, as workflows designed for this setting are intended to move patients through the facility efficiently, using template-based charting that also speeds up the documentation process. In other words, urgent care operators that use an urgent care EMR system don’t have to reinvent the wheel for every patient that comes through the door.
Urgent Care Workflows Defy Dire Headlines for Other Settings