tips and tricks

Discover Shortcuts Devised by Colleagues (February 2011)

Fabrizio Losurdo, MD, Benjamin Barankin, MD, and Hugh Silk, MD
Physicians Practice

Break in New Shoes One Step at a Time
I advise patients with diabetic neuropathy to break in new shoes gradually. I suggest that they wear them a maximum of 1 hour the first day, 2 hours the second day, 3 hours the third day, and so on up to a whole day. In this way, there is more time for the shoes to gradually adapt to the shape of the patient’s feet, thereby reducing the risk of potentially dangerous ulcerations.

Saving Face
At sites where cosmesis is critical, such as on the face, use aluminum chloride and pressure for hemostasis rather than electrocautery.

Simple Quality Check
Assign one clinical staff member to check the expiration dates on all prescription samples once a month, and keep a log of these inspections. Make this job a priority—you don’t want to inadvertently give a patient an expired drug.

Record, Don’t Ignore, Feedback
Maintain a “murmur log” to record compliments and complaints from your patients. Review the log every 6 months for trends, and be sure to act on their suggestions.

A Review of Systems That Covers All the Bases
Here’s a tip that can help you cover all the elements of the review of systems: Ask the question as you examine the relevant body part. For example, ask the patient, “Any trouble with your hearing?” as you look in the ears and, “When did you last see the dentist?” as you examine the mouth.

Cheap Bonus Ideas
Be creative with performance rewards. Give movie tickets to employees who go “above and beyond” the call of duty. Hold a lunchtime barbecue behind the practice, or serve sundaes from a rolling cart, to celebrate a good month of collections.