Doctors Communicate with Tin Cups and String

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Medical providers are in constant communication with each other about patients. This is an essential ingredient to quality care. For physicians and APPs who round at hospitals in addition to an office-based practice, the amount of communication required can be daunting. 

One weekend on call, I added up the amount of wasted time I spent on communication alone, and I was horrified. I was covering three hospitals over the weekend, and I needed sign-out from my partners. So, Friday afternoon I looked to see who was covering those hospitals during the week. Ugh. Three separate doctors. Now I have to have three separate phone calls. Kill me. Forget the time it took me to look up who I needed to call – that’s time I will never get back.

Three painstaking conversations later (one partner wasn’t available in the afternoon and could only talk at 9:00 PM), I was off to round at three hospitals. I carried my list with me, which became marked with scribbles and scratched-out names.

By the end of a long weekend I was exhausted. The last thing I wanted to do on Sunday evening was sign out again. But there I was looking up to see who was covering the hospitals for the week. Ugh. Three separate doctors again.

Currently, I am using a cloud-based census management tool that eliminates all of this painful, inefficient communication. Since the census is centralized and accessible to my whole practice, there is no need for long-winded conversations. The three doctors on Monday open the app and voila – there are the patients, neatly organized with clever and witty narratives (if I do say so myself). Now, there are still times when a really sick patient warrants an actual conversation, and I don’t mind those one bit.


Written By: Gregory Sanders, MD, FACC
Dr. Sanders is a practicing cardiologist, and the founder of HybridChart, a comprehensive workflow solution for medical professionals. HybridChart intuitively assists with census management, charge capture, secure messaging, discharge planning, and data analytics.

Dr. Gregory Sanders is a Harvard-trained, practicing cardiologist and founder and CEO of HybridChart. He has been coding since the 1980s and has spent his medical career focusing on improving processes. His patient care skills earned him recognition as one of Phoenix Magazine’s TOP DOCs. He lives in Scottsdale with his family.

Doctors Communicate with Tin Cups and String