Batching is not just for cooking; you can also use it intentionally in medicine to improve your efficiency! Your wellness matters and you have to look at what you desire to accomplish and your priorities to achieve your goals.
Whether you want to be home sooner, get organized, or take less work home, you can do it!
Batching tasks will help you stay in the flow of things even when it is difficult and distracting.
Things might look different in your clinical practice, but the tools in today’s episode will help you streamline your workflow.
Join the conversation with your host Dr. Ryan Stegink as he shares more about batching and how doing things of a particular type altogether can really help your efficiency.
During this episode, you will learn about;
[00:01] Introduction to the show
[01:52] Today’s focus: Batching and efficiency
[02:37] Ryan’s teen experience cooking cookies with his mother
[03:24] Batching tools that you should add to your toolbox
[03:54] Paperwork and administrative tasks
[08:13] How to do batching with patient care
[08:53] Batching your notes
[10:48] Why batching matters and what to consider
[11:13] Taking actions that move you toward your goals
[11:34] Ending the show and call to action
Want to get home sooner from clinic or the hospital? With all your notes and charting done, too? Get your FREE PDF guide with 10 tips to maximize your clinical efficiency! https://www.mededwell.com/efficiencyguide/
- Getting things completed and off your plate will give you some mental space.
- Email is a great communication tool until you unintentionally hit reply all.
Connect With Dr. Ryan Stegink
Get Coaching with Dr. Stegink: https://www.mededwell.com/coaching
Above are the episode show notes and below is the transcript. Some episode transcripts have been edited more than others, but they are up in the meantime to help those who would rather read and for searchability on the web. Extensive editing has not been prioritized as I seek to both produce regular content and maintain my own wellness. See the website disclaimer if you have questions, since this is all for your education and entertainment only. Enjoy!
Have you felt exhausted in medicine? Like your practice is more like a treadmill than truly a calling? Is the charting weighing you down? Working well past your last patient of the day, charting at home, in the evenings and on weekends. The notes and paperwork, lab results, quality metrics, all the things, right?!?
What if I told you there were some ways to make a change, to get more efficient so you can finish work at work and have the margin to intentionally choose thoughts and actions consistent with your values and priorities? You can get my free guide with 10 tips for getting work done at work more efficiently. Get yours today at www.mededwell.com/efficiency
After that, if you know that you want to take a deeper dive into your thoughts and clinical practice, check out MedEdWell coaching with Dr. Stegink. Fight burnout and moral injury. Find fulfillment and create margin by examining your thoughts and actions to take that next step forward from where you are to where you want to be, aligning your actions with your priorities. To find out more and to book a consult, head over to www.mededwell.com/coaching.
You can also find that link in the shownotes of the podcast player you are listening on right now.
And now for the rest of today’s episode.
Thank you so much for joining me here on episode 39 of the MedEdWell podcast. I so appreciate you showing up subscribing for listening to these episodes, engaging and finding what your next step forward is to support your wellness. As a physician. In episode 38, we talked about delegation, part of the six part series on workflow and charting optimizations. Today, we’ll be talking about batching about how doing things together of a particular type and really help your efficiency. When I was growing up, I would make cookies with my mom. The snickerdoodles were some of my favorites or kind of sugar cookies rolled and cinnamon sugar, but we didn’t make just one at a time. We mix all the ingredients together, make a bunch of dough. And after rolling in the sugar and scooping them out, we’d bake a tray or two at a time.
So when you say a batch of cookies, it really comes down to, you’re doing a bunch of those, putting a bunch of those on a tray and baking them all at once a batch. But it’s not just for cooking. When batching is intentionally used in medicine, it can really help efficiency and sure there’s some variability, but these are some tools to have in your tool belt, as you’re considering how you continue to move forward. So we’ll talk about five different things, four areas and why it matters. So the first area is looking at paperwork and some of the modules that we have to complete, these are separate things, but they’re both some of those administrative tasks. Yes, you can delegate particularly some of the paperwork, but by doing all of the paperwork together, maybe once a day, twice a day, maybe depending on how much paperwork you get or how urgent it is, maybe even a few times a week, but by sitting down and taking all the paperwork and doing it at once, I now sort labs to review forms, to review and just need a signature or forms that I actually have to look something up.
Another reason why it’s helpful to batch is because the paperwork often takes over my whole desk, at least for a couple minutes while I’m sorting and taking those next steps. And it also is helpful because I just find that getting those things completed off my plate just gives me a little bit more mental space. Moving from paperwork to modules. I often will try to knock them out in one or two sittings because then I don’t have them hanging over my head. I almost missed one of the medical malpractice modules. I have to complete on an annual basis because I did two of the five and thought that I had done three of the five when I only needed three, but almost missed the deadline. My clinical supervisor reached out and said, you know, you still have one left to do. And I said, let me check, oh, thank you so much for letting me know.
So I had been trying to batch for the other ones, but it’s just important to stay on top of it. And if you can get things done and you don’t have to wonder how much should I do? How much did I not? And what do I have left to do an important caveat? This is separate from discussing the necessity of all the modules and paperwork. There are definitely too many modules and too much paperwork. And some of this involves advocating. We talked in episode 33 about advocating for yourself and for the system. It may be that you have to do some of that advocacy at that higher level in order to reduce the amount of modules to streamline things, to help figure out better ways of processing the paperwork. But it’s still helpful to think about how do we take those things and make a change for ourself and how do we batch them to get them done so that they’re off our plate while at the same time, still considering, how do we make this more manageable in the long term?
So number two, speaking of things, to reduce or streamline and also be email. So email can also be batched. It’s a great communication tool until everyone hits the reply all, and you really didn’t need to get that reply with I got it or here’s when I’m available. And no it’s about streamlining that, but also not checking it all the time. It may be helpful to check it just at certain times of day. Maybe even just when you’re at work. I took the work email off my mail app on my phone because I was just checking it too much. And I didn’t need to. Number three, patient care can also be matched. We talked previously about going room to room, patient to patient, maybe not back to the work room between every patient. Sometimes when I have siblings, I’ll do all the histories one after the other, after the other, and then examine the children one after the other, after the other, again, this might look different in your clinical practice, that these are tools categories of thinking about things.
So first we had paperwork and modules, some of those administrative tasks about emailing about patient care, but then we come to notes. You may think, why are we adding notes to this list about batching? Even if you go room to room, there will be times where there are still some notes left at the end of the day. And it’s important when you get there that you don’t mix notes, paperwork, and socializing. I still have done it many times myself, but sometimes sitting down for 20, 30 minutes being focused and just going for it helps me get done faster. This is especially true. When the medical record that I use is optimized for a larger screen on the desktops we have in our office and bringing them home. Not only is it on the work laptop and the screen is different, the connection may not be as strong, but it’s just harder to stay in that mental space of I’m gonna get this done.
Let’s do this. And by batching, we can stay in the flow of going, let’s get this note done, sign it. And you’ve taken care of that whole encounter. So again, tools, your tool belt were those situations where yeah, you weren’t able to get them all done as you went. It’s about progress, not perfection there with you. So the four areas, paperwork and modules looking at batching email, how often you check it, patient care and notes, but finally, why, why does it matter? So you have to look at what your underlying priorities and what you want to accomplish, what those things are. If you want to get home sooner
Or bring less work home, maybe you need to take some different actions to get there with that in mind. What could you consider about batching? What thoughts could you think about batching? You could think today that might help you choose the next action. That’s right for you. That moves you towards these goals. Look forward to hearing from you. Send me a, an email, send me a message on Instagram, reach out and let me know how you took action. Thanks for listening to this episode for subscribing, for sharing, I want to encourage you. You matters your wellness matters. It matters not just to you, but to family and friends, to your patience, to your community. This is so important that we continue to grow to care for ourselves so that we can care for each other. Thanks so much for listening. Come back for next episode, have a great day.
And now for our important disclaimer:
Dr. Ryan Stegink is a practicing general pediatrician, but the MedEdWell podcast does not reflect the views, opinions, or beliefs of his employer nor affiliated university. Additionally, the MedEdWell podcast is for educational and entertainment purposes only and should NOT be considered advice regarding financial, legal, student loan, medical or any other specific topic. In such a case, you should seek consultation with a certified professional in that particular area. Again thanks for joining us on the MedEdWell podcast, and have a great day!