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Editor's Note
November 2016

Eliminating Unnecessary Processes in Primary Care

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medicine, University of California-San Francisco, San Francisco
  • 2Department of Medicine, Uniformed Services University, Bethesda, Maryland
JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(11):1722-1723. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.5883

Primary care physicians and their clinic staff face a considerable workload burden. One study1 estimated that it would require primary care physicians 21.7 hours of their day to complete all acute, chronic, and preventive care duties for a typical patient population. It is therefore no surprise that practices have allocated many tasks to nonphysician staff and developed standardized clinic policies for screening patients, responding to patient inquiries, and following-up on tests results. However, little has been done to scrutinize the value of seemingly benign clinic processes, many of which are likely unnecessary and could be streamlined to provide higher-value care.

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