Mastering the medical mindshift: moving away from medical time mismanagement

Data, facts and instruments on the German health system

What it’s all about

An explorative evaluation of several hundred doctors‘ documentation on the use of working time makes it clear that up to thirty per cent of the time resources used are wasted completely unnecessarily and that there is substantial room for manoeuvre.

Time wasters work in secret

In SWOT analyses, the complaints of general practitioners and specialists and their staff about a lack of time are at the forefront of the description of weaknesses. Yet hardly any practice owners have ever systematically recorded and analysed their daily activities and the associated time spans in the form of a time diary. Most believe they know their time use and therefore see no need for such an analysis. However, the need for this arises from the application of a large number of daily routines, which, however, once introduced, are rarely re-examined and in which a large number of time guzzlers are hidden. In order to manage one’s time, or better: one’s use of time, the creation of such an overview is urgently needed.

Many paths lead to the goal

A personal time use analysis shows clearly and unambiguously where the unused reserves lie. The list of starting points is usually long and extensive, starting with inadequate organisational systems, inappropriate working techniques, personal time-consuming behaviour and faulty coordination between the doctor’s time management and the practice organisation.

Minutes become hours

If one picks out individual aspects of this, their change may only lead to a few minutes that can be saved, but in the sum of all aspects, they result in an astonishing and freely usable volume of time, as the doctors‘ documentation proves. And the effects are also positive: work pressure, stress, demotivation and feelings of burn-out are automatically and immediately noticeably reduced. In addition, costs are saved, because a doctor’s main activity is working with patients. If, for example, he carries out activities that belong to the staff’s area of work, he does not earn any money during this time, so there is a loss. Thus, „non-physician“ use of time is also a cost factor.

This is how professional time management works

Based on the results of the work documentation, the guidebook „Free up your time! The most important best practices for doctors in private practice to create time freedom“ describes how general practitioners and specialists can optimise their time management holistically with easy-to-implement instruments and measures and open up previously unused scope.

To the guide…