Organisation in the doctor’s practice: 50 seconds are not the problem

Data, facts and instruments on the German health system

What it’s all about

In comparison, the creation of an electronic certificate of incapacity to work (eAU) takes 50 seconds more time than processing it via the „classical way“. General practitioners and specialists regard this additional organisational effort as a clear obstacle to their productivity. But the real problem lies somewhere else.

The eAU, another TI construction site

It is absolutely true: digital solutions in medical practices should lead to improving and automating the workflow and also to shortening it in terms of time – compared to traditional solutions. The 50 seconds that the processing of an eAU takes longer than the conventional procedure does not fit into this framework, but it does fit excellently into the never-ending story (and polemic) of the TI discussion, which is drifting further and further into the negative.

Basically, it is in the nature of digitalisation that not everything is already perfectly aligned at the time of introduction, just think of smartphone operating systems or apps and necessary updates. You always have to keep this in mind during the transformation.

The outpatient sector suffers from organisational insufficiency

What matters much more, however, is the proportionality and the basis of comparison of the criticism: Practice management comparisons show that, on average, only just under 43% of the regulations and instruments necessary for a smoothly functioning practice organisation are currently used in medical practices. This results in almost one third of the working time in practice operations (minutes and hours, not seconds) being used inefficiently and unproductively. The result is the well-known phenomena such as work overload, overtime, pressure, demotivation, but for patients also excessive waiting times for appointments and in the practices themselves.

Bureaucracy is not the primary cause

To explain these problems, practice owners like to point to bureaucracy, but this – as existent and annoying as it is – has only a minor effect, because there are enough businesses that work perfectly organised despite the administrative regulations. The primary causes are a lack of systematic analysis, too little consideration of organisation-related employee suggestions and a lack of willingness to change.

The original task is therefore first to eliminate the organisational insufficiency in German medical practices and, in parallel, to optimise the digital eAU procedure.

What doctors should pay particular attention to in terms of organisation is described in the guidebook „100 Best Practice Tips for Even Better Practice Organisation“ (German)…