Expanding Rooming, Discharge Office Protocols Can Save Time, Research Shows

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The AMA notes that by expanding protocols for rooming and discharge, nurses, medical assistants, and other clinical support staff are able to create a smooth visit for the patient.
The AMA notes that by expanding protocols for rooming and discharge, nurses, medical assistants, and other clinical support staff are able to create a smooth visit for the patient.

HealthDay News -- Expanding protocols for rooming and discharge can allow physicians to free up an hour or more of time per day, according to the American Medical Association (AMA).

The AMA notes that by expanding protocols for rooming and discharge, nurses, medical assistants, and other clinical support staff are able to create a smooth visit for the patient. The creation of standard work routines allows team members to take on additional responsibilities, freeing up time for physicians.

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The free online module in the AMA's STEPS Forward collection shows ways to increase efficiency with expanded rooming and discharge. The nurse or medical assistant can complete tasks including identifying the reason for the visit; performing medication reconciliation; screening for conditions, based on protocols; updating medical, family, and social history; and providing immunizations and arranging for preventive services, both based on standing orders. 

In addition, they can also assemble medical equipment before physicians enter the exam room. With respect to discharge, nurses or medical assistants can print and review updated medication lists and visit summaries, reiterate the medical instructions to patients, and coordinate the next steps of care.

"Delegating some of those roles to other people on the team has led to better patient care because those people can provide that education, or those pieces of patient care, just as well -- if not better -- than I can," Wisconsin internal medicine physician Richard Fossen, MD, said in the AMA article.

Reference

AMA Wire: How to free up more than 1.5 hours in your work day. 2015. Available at: http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/ama-wire/post/up-15-hours-work-day. Accessed November 10, 2015.

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