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Time Management Tips and Tools for Healthcare Professionals

The clinical team is the heart of any healthcare system. As such, they are often counted on to complete substantial administrative duties in addition to delivering exceptional care. Ever-increasing patient volumes, regulatory requirements and business procedures put tremendous pressure on their time and effort. This makes time management an important skill to develop but difficult to get right. Professionals that know the importance of time management in healthcare environments are staying up-to-date on the latest digital tools and productivity-hacks to better manage their time.

Time management in healthcare is a lifelong skill that serves both the newest resident and the most veteran administrator well. Finding additional time in your schedule will help you better serve your practice, your employer and your patients. So if you’re a doctor or nurse looking for the latest time-saving tools and tips, check out this list:

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1. Follow the Four Ds.

Ever heard of the 4 Ds of Time Management? The Four Ds are an evolution of the three Ps: Plan, Prioritize and Prepare. But they are really more like categories. They are: Do, Defer, Delegate and Drop. Organizing your time this way can be really helpful. For clinical teams this might mean hiring support staff to delegate to or deferring meetings with pharmaceutical reps.

2. Implement the latest electronic medical records technologies.

According to a major 2019 governmental study (NCHS), 84.6% of physicians’ offices use some sort of medical records technology and that number drops to under 75% when considering important certification criteria. Not all EMRs are created equal. Newer EMRs:

  • Keep detailed records safely and securely
  • Meet important certification criteria
  • Are simpler to use, freeing up more time
  • Support a shift to digital healthcare environments and remote care

3. Use productivity-hacking apps.

The brains in Silicon Valley have been targeting working professionals with productivity hacks for some time. More recently, they’ve begun designing and building apps specifically for healthcare system staff. From options that help you better organize your day and optimize your time, to apps that assist in the prevention, identification and treatment of patient illness, to social apps that connect doctors nationwide, clinical staff can use technology to better manage their days and those of their coworkers.

4. Set-up (or recommend) on-site interactive workshops.

Academic programs like medical schools are getting better at teaching the human aspect of healthcare delivery. Programs are now supporting clinicians in facilitating better patient interactions. For instance, more are aware of how communication affects treatment adherence or how to provide the best nutritional advice to patients. However, many programs fail to teach the importance of time management in healthcare.  But even with every second counting towards the overall quality of care a patient receives, few programs seem to be teaching time management for doctors and nurses who are expected to deliver care efficiently.

A recent academic study examining the benefits of an on-site interactive time management workshop followed up with clinicians months after, three-fourths of which continued to implement what they’d learned. 

5. Use an online course for continuing education

Live on-site workshops are great and many would agree that destination conferences are even better but not everyone has the time or inclination to attend them. With annual continuing education requirements making demands on the time of every clinician, many are looking for an online option they can complete anytime and anywhere. CME Seminars has accredited online continuing education courses for convenience and improved time management.