It’s Not Doctor Shortage, it’s an Efficiency Issue.

According to Forbes, “A recently published study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that for every hour physicians were seeing patients, they were spending nearly two additional hours on paperwork.”

Whoa.

Well, we knew traditional docs spent a lot of time on paperwork… but this much?! It gives whole new meaning to one of our favorite catchphrases in support of the Atlas.md EMR: You didn’t go to medical school to fill out paperwork! Let’s break some numbers down, though, because when you look under the surface you’ll find the answer to an even bigger problem.

This Time article from a few years ago indicates that 22% of a docs time is spent on charting, EMR, or insurance matters. That’s the equivalent of 165K full time physicians. One hundred sixty five thousand docs could be seeing patients if they weren’t pushing papers instead. It gets worse. New numbers blow that out of the water. Based on the new Forbes study, we’d have more than 500K full time physicians back and taking care of patients.

Here it is, plain and simple. We don’t have a doctor shortage issue. We have an efficiency issue.

You might be thinking, “man, paperwork sure is a necessary evil.” To which Direct Care would like to challenge you: what if it wasn’t necessary? Don’t be silly; we’re not advocating not charting. But what if you could get that time back by being more efficient with the paperwork you really do have to do? It’s what Direct Care providers across the country already know. They skip the insurance paperwork; patients pay them directly. If they use Atlas.md, they actually like their EMR because it’s intuitive to their workflow and leaves out all the flashing lights and other distractions. Taking it one step further, their phone, email, text and even video call correspondence is automatically logged right in the patient’s chart without them ever having to lift a pen. Nice.

So, when we work more efficiently, we eliminate the time-consuming wasteland of paperwork that used to eat up half our day (literally!) and we find ourselves exactly where we not only need to be, but want to be. With patients.

If you’re wondering where all the doctors have gone, check underneath that giant pile of papers. Then go dig them out, tell them about Direct Care and make their lives and the lives of their patients infinitely better.

FORBES: Healthcare is at a Tipping Point.

Cisco CEO John Chambers fears the US economy is being threatened by bankruptcy. That is, unless we evolve our healthcare system. He equates the current state of healthcare to the prehistoric state of computers – disconnected and inefficient.

Chambers hopes for better, not only for himself, but for his family and employees. He has an idea of how it could all come together, too, in an “Internet of Everything.”

“The first thing that will happen is all devices on our bodies, in hospitals and in our homes will be connected,” he said. “The second technological advance is video, which is the way people will prefer to communicate in the future. Video can connect any health care professional to any patient and to any specialist, all at tremendous speeds. You’ll be able to receive medical expertise 24/7. Health care applications will combine the technologies of cloud and big data, whether in the hospital or in your home. Video allows a different level of collaboration, and it offers security and privacy from your home. This is the Internet of Everything.”

READ THE FORBES ARTICLE >

We can’t help but think Chambers would look upon the Direct Care healthcare model with a smile, knowing that those in its care are receiving individualized, personalized treatment. Treatment that stems from being able to reach your doc anytime, through seemingly unconventional methods like Skype, Twitter, email and text. Factor in 24/7 physician availability, house calls and office visits that last at least 30 minutes, we don’t think we’re far off from Chambers’ vision.

Maybe this is a good time to mention how the Atlas.md EMR specifically accounts for better connectivity between doctors and patients by integrating all those communication methods directly into the patient’s chart. No, more than accounts for, encourages it. Enables it. Demands it.

Because Direct Care is gearing up to be the thing that tips the point toward better healthcare.

Damn, Gawker. Way To Point Out The Prescription Drug In The Room.

You might think that the U.S. government’s small step towards a national healthcare system would somehow help bring the cost of prescription drugs down to reasonable levels.

“You could not be more wrong! You idiot!” writes Hamilton Nolan of Gawker.

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Yep, You Can Yelp Us

Some of the country’s best doctors have the worst patient satisfaction scores.

Want to know why?

Part of training to become a fee-for-service doctor is learning how to suppress your feelings. You get good at being who people want you to be, not who they need you to be.

You’re slowly transformed into something you didn’t foresee–a Stepford doctor out to please everyone with a sycophantic grin and forcibly appealing demeanor, hoping that your patient satisfaction survey will be favorable, no matter the cost.

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Obamacare Exchanges Burn Taxpayer Dollars By The Truckload

Remember Cash for Clunkers? That program gave car buyers rebates of up to $4,500 if they traded in less fuel-efficient vehicles for new vehicles with better gas mileage.

But because a lot of the vehicles eligible for the rebate would have sold anyway, taxpayers ended up paying about $24,000 per additional car sale that these incentives produced.

And it looks like Obamacare is in a fierce race to beat Cash for Clunkers to become the poster child for mismanagement of federal taxpayer resources:

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FDA Needs Reform Or The Market Might Not Innovate Life-Saving Drugs.

Okay, maybe those doctoral economists will come in handy. Jokes aside, bringing life-saving drugs to market will never be cheap – and it will require government participation.

However, there’s a difference between red tape syphoning better-spent dollars to line the pockets of insurance companies who DON’T actually care for our population, and making sure a drug company developing an Alzheimer’s treatment can recoup their billion dollar investment.

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Spending Someone Else’s Money Is Inefficient. So Why Does Healthcare Insist On Doing It Like That?

Jeffrey Singer, M.D., or Dr. Singer, is a general surgeon in Arizona. He’s also an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute.

He claims that healthcare costs are too damn high—and they’re only getting worse. He’s got every reason to make that claim. Turns out that last week, researchers at Harvard and Dartmouth released a report estimating that healthcare costs will continue to grow faster than the economy for at least the next two decades.

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America’s Broken Health Care System: The Role of Drug, Device Manufacturers

Health care costs are dramatically higher in the U.S. than in the rest of the world. Yet our health care outcomes – from life expectancy to infant mortality – are average at best. Few dispute these facts.

The real debate starts when we ask why. While there isn’t one single answer, the rapidly rising cost of drugs and medical devices is a significant factor.

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How Much Does The Healthcare Exchange Rip Off Young Adults? They Ran The Numbers. The Results Are Grim.

Obamacare still needs more young people to sign up. This will offset the high cost of the older, and probably less healthy people who are joining Obamacare plans. Oh, but then the White House has to coerce a sufficient number of thirty-somethings to join, too. Problem is, the health plans don’t make economic sense for many of these young adults.

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Free Market’s Free Reign — Company Succeeds By Making Exercise And Vacation A Priority

Okay, so we’re putting in a caveat right out of the gate — Atlas MD WILL be checking emails during vacations and probably won’t be sending our limited staff to the gym during lunch. However, we do applaud one company that does EXACTLY that.

David Morken is the sparkling Co-founder and CEO of Bandwidth, a 15-year-old tech company. It was his idea to instate these policies: the company has (and enforces) a complete embargo on email to and from the company during vacation. Oh, well how about I just stay at the office all year? Nope. He also forces employees to take their vacations. And don’t forget the 90-minute lunches. They are paid, if you workout, along with your gym membership, shuttle to and from, your personal trainer, and a comprehensive assessment of your physical condition.

So why’s this cool? Well, for starters, Bandwidth was set to make $150M in 2013 – a 20% increase from 2012 – and, get this, they expect $200M in profitable revenues in 2014. So while yes, these policies might seem Draconian, they began with the proprietor and ended up positively influencing his staff, their work, and his bottom line. And no one in the White House told him how to do his job.

READ FORBES’ COVERAGE OF BANDWIDTH CEO DAVID MORKEN