Stop Giving Doctors Homework

A Texas teacher has stopped assigning her students homework. “Research has been unable to prove that homework improves student performance. Instead, I ask that you spend your evenings doing things that are proven to correlate with student success. Eat dinner as a family, read together, play outside and get your child to bed early.” We should have the same rules for doctors.

A Texas teacher has stopped assigning her students homework. “Research has been unable to prove that homework improves student performance. Instead, I ask that you spend your evenings doing things that are proven to correlate with student success. Eat dinner as a family, read together, play outside and get your child to bed early.” We should have the same rules for doctors.

We all know by now the ridiculous amount of time doctors spend as data entry clerks entering worthless data into electronic medical records. Many spend hours at the end of the day catching up, because, given a 12-minute visit, they would rather actually talk to their patients during the visit. They deal with the backlog at home, because they have no other choice if they want to get paid.

Instead, we should have a rule that regardless of how much time it takes to complete the electronic record entry during the clinic visit, no additional patients will be scheduled until the work is done during clinic hours from 8am-5pm.

The results could be:

1. Vendors and regulators would be forced to create products that fit into workflow and actually improves care

2. Hospital finance people would have to live with doctors seeing fewer patients and therefore generating less revenue until they come up with something better. So would doctors.

3. Doctors could actually spend time at home doing something other than remotely entering data on patients they saw that day

4. New business process outsourcing opportunities for fluctuating demand management

5. The potential to do the same with medical students and residents to prevent burnout

6. Faculty development workshops for teachers who simply cannot imagine how to teach without assigning students endless hours memorizing stuff they can look up on Google in a heartbeat or ask their friends on Whatsapp.

7. Doctors might use the downtime to actually innovate

8. Patients, as part of their new ownership of the medical record, would have to complete the record. Of course, they can have the doctor do it, but there would be an additional charge.

9. Since doctors won't know what to do with all that free time at home, it will cause domestic and marital problems so counseling services would be available for a fee that will be deducted from their monthly paycheck to make up for the lost revenue.

10. Every doctor will get a "Hi. I'm your Daddy/Mommy" button so their kids and the family pet will recognize them.

There is no homework in Finland. There shouldn't be any at your house either. Imagine having the time to write that novel trapped inside of you.