Making primary care better for doctors currently in practice and attractive to medical students and residents is critical given the needs of our health care system. It also has been a major focus of the health care organization where I work. A few colleagues and I noticed that many primary care doctors still stayed later than others despite lowering patient panel responsibilities and the implementation of the nation’s most robust electronic medical record (EMR) where patient information is available and updated real-time 24/7.
Interestingly, this cohort was the same group that stayed later even when we used paper charts and had larger panel responsibilities. With patients expecting more in quality and service, the more we could support primary care doctors in specific tangible ways to make their work more personally and professionally satisfying, the better they could care for patients.
On my days off, I would observe my colleagues as they took care of patients and how they interacted with colleagues and staff. Based on these observations, I created this framework. This framework provides health care leaders specific areas of opportunity and focus to help support primary care doctors. The focus was on the individual doctor, the “team” at the office level, and the “team” outside the medical office.