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How Much Time Do Physicians Spend Providing Care Outside of Office Visits?

Jeffrey Farber, MD; Albert Siu, MD, MSPH; and Patricia Bloom, MD
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

From Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, and Bronx Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Bronx, New York.

Grant Support: Dr. Siu is the recipient of a Midcareer Investigator Award in patient-oriented research from the National Institute on Aging.

Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.

Requests for Single Reprints: Jeffrey Farber, MD, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, One Gustave L. Levy Place, Box 1070, New York, NY 10029-6574; e-mail, jeffrey.farber@mssm.edu.

Current Author Addresses: Drs. Farber and Bloom: Mount Sinai School of Medicine, One Gustave L. Levy Place, Box 1070, New York, NY 10029-6574.

Dr. Siu: Bronx Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 130 West Kingsbridge Road, Bronx, NY 10468.

Author Contributions: Conception and design: J. Farber, A. Siu, P. Bloom.

Analysis and interpretation of the data: J. Farber, A. Siu.

Drafting of the article: J. Farber, A. Siu, P. Bloom.

Critical revision of the article for important intellectual content: J. Farber, A. Siu.

Final approval of the article: J. Farber, A. Siu, P. Bloom.

Provision of study materials or patients: J. Farber, P. Bloom.

Collection and assembly of data: J. Farber.

Ann Intern Med. 2007;147(10):693-698. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-147-10-200711200-00005
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Two of the authors documented all clinical interactions that occurred outside of office visits during a 5-day workweek and used the information to develop a structured interaction form that collected the time spent (in minutes) in the interaction, type of participant (patient or family), method of interaction (telephone or electronic), content of the interaction (new symptom or chronic disease management), and outcome of the interaction (office visit or medication use). The form was then used by the authors in a 5-day workweek and was further modified. The final version of the interaction form was used to document all clinical interactions outside of office visits during 3 randomly selected, 1-week periods (excluding weeks with legal holidays) in late 2005 and early 2006.

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