Visit length in pediatric primary care: lessons from a pilot study
Nezami, Farnaz Ghazi
Yildirim, Mehmet Bayram
Bradham, Douglas D.
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Uner, H., Ghazi-Nezami, F., Yildirim, M.B., Dong, F., Wellner, J., and Bradham, D.D. 2013. "Visit length in pediatric primary care: lessons from a pilot study." The Journal of Medical Practice Management Vol. 28, No. 6, pp. 363-370.
As business drivers create pressure to see more patients in a given period, there is no reliable guidance regarding the optimal allocation of resources in ambulatory visits. Many pediatric primary clinics set appointment lengths in increments of "five minutes." Defining the appointment lengths for potentially longer visits by arbitrary increments (e.g., twice the time for an acute visit) is a common "experiential" scheme. However, how much additional time is really needed if the patient is new to practice or when the visit is arranged for preventive services is unknown. Identifying the misallocation of clinic resources is fundamental because misallocation reduces access for patients and increases practice costs. In this study, using a time-motion approach, we examined the characteristics of 372 visits in a pediatric primary care clinic.