Mastering the medical mindshift: From passive to active management of doctors‘ working time

Data, facts and instruments on the German health system

What it is all about

Many doctors have been complaining for a long time about the strain on their time. External pressures are identified as the causes, but solutions are not seen. Yet a remedy would be quite simple.

There is a lack of transparency

Only one third of German general practitioners and specialists have so far conducted an organisational analysis. Moreover, the impression of the practice owners that they have no time and are constantly working is very subjective, because hardly any doctors have transparency about the activities with which they really fill the working time available to them.

It is therefore not surprising that, on closer examination, with the help of a simple self-recording procedure, it can be determined that GPs and specialists spend an average of 1 hour and 23 minutes per day on completely unnecessary activities, i.e. almost seven hours of working time per week. However, this figure does not yet include the savings effects that can be realised through an analysis of the entire practice organisation.

In medical practices, only 43% of the regulations and instruments necessary for a smoothly functioning practice organisation are currently used on average – across all speciality groups and practice forms and sizes.

Which adjusting screws are important

How can doctors escape their time trap? First of all, it is important to realise that one can actively shape one’s use of time and should not allow oneself to be passively determined. This is expressed, among other things, in the following procedures:

  • Avoiding interruptions If activities are repeatedly interrupted and have to be resumed several times, e.g. due to queries from the staff, this causes a high loss of time, as one has to recapitulate what has been done so far.
  • Consistent delegation Doctors take over activities such as the transport of documents or the preparation of examinations, which are actually the responsibility of the staff.
  • Bundling of activities If similar activities, e.g. short contacts with patients, are bundled, significantly less time has to be spent on each activity.
  • Lack of overall coordination Medical time management and practice organisation must function holistically and must be coordinated down to the last detail.
  • Compliance with rules Once agreed, rules must be meticulously adhered to by all involved, otherwise the functionality of the working framework is restricted.
  • Intensive internal communication Information deficits inhibit workflow and cost time.

How does the Mindshift tool „Valetudo Check-up© Holistic Time Management“ support practising doctors in optimising their use of time?

The validated remote time management analysis, which can be implemented without the need for an on-site consultant, is designed to,

  • identify deficit and risk areas in time and practice management and
  • to identify optimisation opportunities for freeing up time.

The Valetudo Check-up© is also suitable for practice owners who have not felt any time pressure so far, because experience shows that their practices also have unused reserves or misadjustments that can only lead to problems in the medium term.