Yes, it is Saturday and it’s 10:04pm and I am just about to get a start on a few outstanding doctors letters I have to do. Why? Well because The Beauty and the Beast went for 2 hours and 25 minutes. Actually, if I go a little deeper, it’s because I pay a day fee for my clinic so I cram in as many patients I can to make the most of the time I have in the room which often means all my admin is left for outside my clinic hours. Interestingly, I was speaking to another dietitian yesterday about this, doctors letters come up so, so often in conversation. Are they really the bane of every dietitians existence?
Let’s try and reframe that thought and approach them as one of your best marketing tools you have. A communication channel between you and your referrers, an opportunity for you to demonstrate your clinical expertise and earn trust. If you want to know what I write in my doctors letters, click here.
In order for me to cut down on my time doing doctors letters though, I make sure I have my complete assessment finalised and “published” whilst the client is still in the room. That means I do my quick core food groups checklist, I tick the boxes for what education I have provided them and I duplicate their goals into my form and highlight when I am reviewing them. I am still working on being more familiar with PESS statements so I can include those too. I find for conditions I am not so familiar with, it takes time. One of my goals for the year.
When looking for some extra information on time management in the clinical environment, I actually come across this webinar courtesy of Dietitian Connection presented by Nicole Senior (https://dietitianconnection.com/product/time-to-act-a-time-management-webinar-by-nicole-senior-2/) which sounds particularly relevant.
I shared a few other tips yesterday with my mentee, so I thought I would share them with you too:
- Ensure you are working with electronic records
- Develop a quick assessment form with lots of check boxes to reduce your typing (our assessment forms can be downloaded here)
- Finish your assessment form at the time of consultation
- Develop doctors letter templates for specific conditions ie weight loss, diabetes, FODMAPS
- Make use of dynamic terms so as many fields as possible will be populated
- Time keep ie monitor how long it is taking you to get your doctors letters done and if it is an unreasonable amount of time, try to shave a few minutes off each letter you do
I hope with these few tools that you can spend more time seeing your clients and living your life and less time writing doctors letters as I’m sure you have enough admin work to be doing as it is.
Have a great week.