Eliminating Conversation Clutter

Q: We’re a busy internal medicine group. Some of our physicians see far fewer patients and it’s beginning to cause challenges among partners. They attribute lower numbers to the complexity of the interactions they’re having with patients. I have my ways of getting in and getting out of the exam room, but not sure my approach will work for others. Any pearls I can bring back to the group would be appreciated.

A: My colleagues too are often looking for ways to cut through the all too common patient conversation clutter without diluting the patient’s experience. A big part of this is asking the right questions…questions that quickly get to the root of patient concerns. Here’s one simple question you can ask to improve the quality of time you have with patients, and identify why they are really there.