When I sat down to write about this month's topic, "The Evolving Provider," I must admit that I felt some empathy for my physician friends because of all the changes that are happening around them. Let's be honest: CHANGE SUCKS, especially for us 'ol cronies! Not only are they expected to diagnose and treat their patients, now they are expected to manage their practices in a whole new way with computers and Lean/Six Sigma processes. Their chosen career to heal people is now embroiled in an environment which is pressured by government bureaucrats, IT gurus and business, OD and training consultants telling them how they should do their job. And for all of this, physician incomes are decreasing and their medical malpractice insurance is skyrocketing. It's not a surprise that so many talented men and women are hanging up their white coats and retiring or becoming consultants!
We all know the "fortunate" docs that have been able to continue practicing medicine and fulfilling their life's dream. These are folks that, for one reason or another, can go with the flow, adapt to the changes and/or simply stay out of the fray. They are comfortable with change and working in and around change. They will continue to thrive in the changing medical arena.
But what concerns me are three groups of docs:
- The single practitioners who have merged their practices into the big clinics so they could still afford to practice medicine...those who:
- Couldn't afford to implement EHRs and the other government mandates without going broke, or
- Didn't have the computer or technology skills to manage the system implementation, MU, ICD-10, etc.
- Refused to work a 50-hour week practicing medicine and give another 30+ hours to manage all the changes necessary for their practice's EHR implementation
- The talented specialists who have given up treating patients because of all the red tape and have chosen to be consultants. Don't get me wrong, I'm a consultant and have no problem with consultants!
- We need those people with years of experience treating patients and mentoring younger docs.
- The dedicated family practitioners who couldn't make enough money to justify the sacrifices of long hours away from their families and the OBGYNs that stopped practicing because it was made more sense financially to quit medicine than to continue paying their malpractice insurance premiums.
I've had some good and not-so-good physicians treat me over my lifetime, but overall, I've been very lucky to get good care. But as I look back and realize that the majority of my primary docs have moved on, some retired and some just into new professions, I'd like to say:
"Thank you for helping me or my children when we needed a kind word or medicine in the middle of the night or on a holiday. Thank you for holding your laughter and smirk when I asked a stupid question you just heard from other patients for the umpteenth time! Thanks for showing up for work even when you didn't feel like it. That was the day I needed you the most!"
TBD Consulting has a proven track record for ensuring staff and physician adoption of EMR/EHR system implementations. Whether you need assistance to create a training department, help your existing training organization meet the needs of the ongoing changes, or simply need "extra hands" to meet your deadlines or ROI goals, please contact Jonena Relth. She and her qualified staff are here to assist you with your organizational development, coaching and training initiatives.
Corporate Office 602-263-1961. Email Jonena today!