Doctors to get tips to make practice patient-friendly

Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Franklin Memorial Hospital’s annual ‘Physicians in Rural Practice’ symposium will feature a doctor who teaches health care practitioners ways to increase the quality of their professional lives and have healthier and happier patients.

The March 23 event will focus on Transforming Office Practice and Diabetic Care for the 21st Century. The speakers and workshops target health care professionals who work in rural Maine, including doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and nurses.

Dr. L. Gordon Moore’s keynote presentation will look at how doctors can create the ideal practice by using imaginative and innovative methods of working within a structured health care system.

Weary of grueling schedules that allow only brief and impersonal interactions with their patients, many doctors have decided to get off the treadmill. Newer technology allows small rural practices to work more efficiently without giving up the advances of modern medicine.

After 19 years as a traditional family doctor, Dr. Jean Antonucci of Farmington made the switch to that small private practice model. Laptops hold patients’ electronic medical records and computerized management and information systems so treatments are up to date.

She outsources her billing but does everything else in-house.

After years relying on the security of large, corporate practices, she read about Moore’s model of providing patient care in a “micro-practice.”

“Studies show that most patients are not very satisfied with medical care they receive and neither are doctors,” Antonucci said. “I decided to try this so I could give more care to my patients and be happier.”

Many practices across the country become larger and larger, with physicians pressured to see more patients and generate more income to support a growing bureaucracy.

Moore is on the faculty at the University of Rochester Medical School in Rochester, N.Y., and is on the faculty at the Institute for Health Care Improvement.

His philosophy has spread in the past four years to about 100 practitioners in the United States, with several in Maine.

“Patients lack confidence in us when we are not there, when we make them wait, when we don’t have the time to listen or don’t seem to make the effort,” he said.

Moore suggests health care professionals might find more job satisfaction and happier patients. He contends that professionals’ salaries could still be close to what they earn in a traditional practice. Alternatively, they may discover that once their professional and personal lives have become enriched, money concerns may become less important.

A tuition fee includes the program, continuing education credits, continental breakfast, refreshments, and lunch. Contact Activities Coordinator Jodi Cordes at the Franklin Memorial Hospital Education Office at 207-779-2451 or visit the event Web site at symposium.
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