While there is no question that some injuries and medical conditions occur through no fault of attending New York physicians or other medical staff, many serious issues are a result of avoidable mistakes. And too often those mistakes are caused by medical negligence and a general lack of attention paid by doctors to their patients. It seems that a number of factors and changes within the medical industry have contributed to a patient-care environment that is not necessarily conducive to treating patients.
The standard of the 15-minute patient visit was established, at least in part, by Medicare back in the early 90s, and resulted in a widespread adoption of the practice. Interestingly, it is estimated that the length of the average doctor visit has increased by approximately 4 minutes over an almost 20-year period. Even so, there are still major concerns over the quality of doctor-patient visits.
According to one study, only around 25 percent of patients complete a sentence before being interrupted during their doctor visit. The issue is compounded by the fact that doctors commonly redirect patients after approximately 23 seconds of them speaking. And given that patients often arrive at their doctor’s appointment with more than one issue to bring up, visits can quickly become rushed for patients and doctors alike.
Ultimately, it does seem that time is still a major issue when it comes to patient visits, since physicians are primarily paid for the number of patients they see. And while the issue is not necessarily a new one, some suspect that the already hurried environment will be compounded by changes made by the Affordable Care Act.
Concerns must be raised to the fact that a lack of attention on the part of doctors can have serious consequences like misdiagnoses and pharmacy errors.
Source: PBS, “15-minute doctor visits take a toll on patient-physician relationships,” Roni Caryn Rabin, April 21, 2014