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Published: December 31, 2014

Freeing Physicians, Improving Patient Engagement

Pharmacist Accessibility Key To Patient Engagement, Builds Loyalty, Removes Administrative Shackles From Physicians

Seven minutes. That’s how long the average encounter lasts between a patient and their provider during a visit. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, nearly one half of a physician’s average workday is spent outside of the examination room performing other administrative tasks such as patient follow-up and documentation.

As we have written previously, it bears repeating that time spent face-to-face with patients is in constant competition with physicians’ administrative and reporting requirements. In a time-constrained environment that limits open discussion and in-depth conversation, how is patient loyalty built? Furthermore, who is able to enhance patient education and build a complete picture surrounding a patient and their condition in just seven minutes?

Patients must be given the time they need to have an open discussion about their health in order to educate them on their condition and therapies, in order to improve adherence and outcomes, and last, but not least, reduce the cost of healthcare across the continuum.

Pharmacists are in a highly accessible position to fill this gap by collecting and curating more detailed patient information, by building another trusting patient relationship in the care team and by removing administrative shackles from physicians (like medication prior authorizations) thereby freeing them up to focus on true patient care.

Our Director of Clinical Services and MTM Pharmacist Vickie Andros (Pharm.D.) spoke with media partners ShareWik at Medcity Engage earlier this year about precisely how pharmacists help free up physicians to do more of what they do best.

We are working on gathering data from our own Curant pharmacist patient engagements to validate the hypothesis that pharmacists are among the most accessible healthcare professionals. Stay tuned for more.

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