Programme no. 456-P
Quality Improvement
A cross sectional study how nurses and general practitioner perceives the doctors calendar, a questionnaire study in Swedish primary health care.
Frida Nygren*1, Gun Rembeck2
1Närhälsan Kinna vårdcentral,Kinna,Sweden, 2Research and Development Unit in Primary Health Care, Southern Alvsborg County/ Adolescent Health Centre Lerum ,Borås/Lerum,Sweden
* = Presenting author
Objectives: To find out how nurses and doctors perceive the doctors calendar at health centers and if there are differences about how long it is estimated that a doctor's appointment takes.
Background: In Sweden, patients usually get into contact with health centers by phone. The call is received in most cases by a nurse that makes a medical assessment and decides which action that is required and how urgent it is. If the patient needs a doctor the nurse makes a booking in the doctors’ calendar. It is insufficiently mapped how doctors work environment is affected by that other profession are booking the patients, resulting in doctors having little control over their own workload.
Results: The two groups are largely in agreement on how long time a doctor's appointment takes for different symptoms. Where there is a statistic significant difference are the differences in minutes small and clinically negligible. The groups are in disagreement on how often too short appointments are booked, how often more than one patient is booked at the same time, how often it is taken into account the doctor’s educational degree, if the nurses got the right skills to determine how long a doctor’s appointment takes and to which extend nurses get feedback on their bookings.
Material/Methods: This is a quantitative cross sectional study using questionnaires, one for each profession, about how often certain things happen and how long time a doctor's appointment takes. All nurses working with phone counseling and all doctors who work at both private and public primary health centers in seven small to medium sized cities in southwestern Sweden were included in the study. Thirty-nine nurses and twenty-seven doctors working at fifteen health centers chose to participate.
Conclusion: This study provides some indication of how doctors and nurses perceive the doctors calendar and hopefully be a starting point for discussions in respective health center on how bookings of patients works now and how it could work in the future. Further studies are needed to better understand how bookings are made and how it effects the work environment for both doctors and nurses.
Points for discussion: How the resources of the health center best are used. How nurses, by the way they book patients, affect the doctor’s workload and work environment. How nurses and doctors communicate with each other.