Is Fifteen Minutes Long Enough to Digest the Doctor’s Orders?

September 25, 2012 | Crandall & Pera Law
Is Fifteen Minutes Long Enough to Digest the Doctor’s Orders?

Advances in preventive medicine and public health have given patients plenty of proven recommendations to keep from getting sick, which may be difficult for a doctor to fully explain in the course of a 15-minute office visit, according to The New York Times.

While these recommendations can potentially prevent injuries and fatalities, doctors are finding there is not enough time in the day to get into detail about each topic with each patient. Some physicians may choose to focus on a select few topics per visit, while others may resort to giving patients typed lists to read at home instead.

"But an increasing number of doctors, under mounting pressures from insurance companies and others to prove that they are delivering quality care, are simply scrambling to cover as many of the wellness recommendations as they can, piling on the dos and don'ts...'the grand information dump,'" writes Pauline W. Chen, M.D.

Adding to the timeliness issue is also the fact that there is little proof that telling patients and their families to do something will result in any changes in behavior, especially when the information is crammed into a 15-minute visit.

"Ideally a visit with the doctor is 15 minutes that can be used to build  a very powerful relationship and transfer crucial information that will make our patients healthier," says Dr. Robert Needlman, professor of pediatrics at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. "Because we have so little time, we have to be able to devote our time to the things that will make a difference." Read the full details here:

How Much Can Patients Learn in a 15-Minute Doctor Visit?

Steve Crandall, a top-rated medical malpractice attorney throughout Ohio and Kentucky, points out that a lack of time to communicate effectively may not be at the fault of the doctors.

"The root cause is the insurance industry and the ever-shrinking reimbursements paid to physicians for routine visits," says Crandall. "As these shrink for no good reason, physicians are forced to schedule more volume to keep their fees in line. This results in fewer time and concentration for their patients."

If you have any questions regarding medical malpractice throughout Ohio and Kentucky, contact Steve Crandall. Steve is available to help answer your questions and guide you in determining your next steps.