Life Hacks For Doctors

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Transcript of Life Hacks For Doctors

  • Life Hacks for Doctors: An Introduction Joshua Schwimmer, This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- MD, FACP, FASN Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
  • What are Life Hacks? Productivity strategies that solve everyday problems especially problems caused by information overload. Adapted from Wikipedia
  • Life Hacks Are Often Simple Discrete Nonintuitive Clever Surprisingly Effective
  • Have you ever heard a lecture on...? Image: DArcy Norman, Flickr
  • Pheochromocytomas? Image: Wikipedia
  • Lectures on Pheochromocytomas 100% of Doctors. Tumor incidence = approx. 5 per million population per year. Image: Wikipedia
  • Have you ever heard a lecture on efficiency? Image: DArcy Norman, Flickr
  • Lectures on Efficiency Only 20% of doctors, and most paid for the lecture themselves. Source: Sermo
  • Is there a misalignment of priorities in medical education? Image: Caro Wallis, Flickr
  • Being a good doctor depends not only on who you are and what you know but on the systems you use.
  • HDR Image: Aurorus Reflectus Colosseo, Stuck in Customs, Flickr
  • Q. Should you write No Scleral Icterus?
  • If it takes you 3 seconds to write these words on every patient...
  • You will spend 3 hours each year writing No Scleral Icterus.
  • Is this really the best way to spend your time?
  • Principles of Productivity
  • Reflective Questions
  • Who is the best person to perform a task?
  • Probably not you. (Dont be offended.)
  • How much is your time worth?
  • Example: $150,000 per year / 60 hours per week * 50 weeks per year = $50 / hour. A useful oversimplification.
  • (Writing No Scleral Icterus is costing you $150 a year.)
  • Who should perform a task? Someone who can do it well whose time is worth less than your own. Always delegate when appropriate. Dont make other people do work thats rightfully yours.
  • Create filters or rules so you never see tasks that you should never perform.
  • HDR Image: Fireworks Over Lake Austin, Stuck in Customs, Flickr
  • What should you do?
  • (One option.)
  • A Better Option Become comfortable with to do lists: Write them Rewrite them Cross items off Review them often
  • To Do Lists Organize different lists by location Office Hospital Phone Errands Home
  • Group similar tasks together to save time lost in task switching.
  • Keep a mission critical list of tasks that must be performed that day.
  • The 80-20 Rule: 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.
  • Concentrate on your most important tasks.
  • When should you perform a task?
  • If its simple and quick, do it now.
  • The Calendar If a task should be performed at a particular time or on a particular day, put it on your calendar. Your calendar is not your to do list.
  • Parkinsons Law: Work expands to fill the time available.
  • Where should a task be performed?
  • Where should a task be performed? First, perform tasks that are particular to a place. See hospitalized patients in the hospital. File charts in the office. If tasks are mobile, consider performing them elsewhere. Make calls while commuting. Take paperwork home to review.
  • Why perform a task?
  • Rediscover your motivation.
  • Why? Why are you performing this task? Why are you doing it this way? Why are you practicing medicine?
  • Ideas
  • Most doctors desks are organizational disasters.
  • The solution? Inboxes. (You went to medical school for this?)
  • Inboxes 101 All new labs and mail go in the inbox. Pick up the top item and deal with it. Sign and file labs, recycle junk mail, write down a to do, etc. Never put any item back in the inbox. Empty your inbox regularly.
  • HDR Image: Hong Kong, Stuck in Customs, Flickr
  • An Open Secret: Most doctors never learn how to document properly.
  • Many doctors live with constant anxiety that they are over-coding or under-coding.
  • The Solution: Craft Individualized Note Templates New Patient or Consult Notes Follow Up Notes Include all the items you need to bill at the highest level when appropriate. See for more details.
  • The Hospital Routine Image: Fractal Hospital, Gualtiero, Flickr
  • Group Your Tasks Check Labs Examine Patients Write Notes
  • An Example of Grouping Tasks Six patients on a hospital floor. 15 seconds to walk to each room. 5 seconds to walk from room to room.
  • Grouping Tasks Strategy 1: Examine patient, write note, repeat. (15 + 15) * 6 = 180 seconds. Strategy 2: Group Tasks. Examine all patients, then write all notes. (15 * 2) + (5 * 5) = 55 seconds. Strategy 2 (grouping tasks) saves 8.7 hours a year ($434).
  • Learn Efficiently
  • Choose one textbook for your specialty and read a few pages every day.
  • Keep a list of clinical questions. Regularly look up the answers and cross them off your list.
  • Fill an iPod with medical lectures and podcasts. Listen while you commute.
  • Sources of Free Podcasts and Lectures New England Journal of Medicine JAMA Archives of Internal Medicine Google on [medical podcasts] and [grand rounds podcasts]
  • Refresh Your Information Sources Medical Blogs Google Scholar Google Book Search Google Alerts & Google News UpToDate
  • For More Information on Life Hacks for Doctors
  • Thanks.