Phone: 1-800-624-8832 | Email: | Help Center
Patient Face Time

Patient Face Time Challenges

When you decided to become a doctor, you likely dreamed of strong bonds with your patients that would lead to outstanding medical care. But much of the time, things aren’t at all how you imagined them. Between necessary documentation, regulatory burdens, and larger than ever patient populations, spending adequate time with your patients and giving them your undivided attention is harder than ever before.

According to a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine, which followed 57 physicians for 430 working hours, doctors spend 49% of their time on administrative tasks versus only 27% seeing patients. It’s probably safe to say this isn’t what you signed up for.

Today’s Physicians Struggle to Give Patients What They Want Most

In order to feel valued and cared for, patients want to have uninterrupted time with their provider to speak about their care. This face time is integral to the patient/provider relationship. Unfortunately, it’s become abundantly clear that patient face time is at an all-time low.

In the same Annals of Internal Medicine study it was found that during patient encounters nearly 53% of physician time is spent speaking directly with patients, while 37% of their time is spent on EHR documentation and other clerical work such as reviewing test results, writing orders, and entering other information. Another 1% of physician’s time is spent on scheduling and insurance issues.

Yes, these numbers show that most of the time in an encounter is spent listening to patients, but it’s still only just over half the time in an encounter. This falls quite short of what patients want, and what they deserve.

Frustration for Patients and Providers Alike

This lack of patient face time has had a profound negative impact on the provider-patient relationship. If you ask most patients if they’ve had an experience where they felt undervalued by their physician based on the amount of time they spent with them in an appointment, unfortunately the vast majority would likely tell you yes.

One such patient, a 66-year old consultant from Washington, D.C., went to see her ENT due to a sinus infection and estimates that her physician spent roughly three to four minutes in the room with her total. During that time he examined her nose, said he found inflammation, and asked the patient to get her prescription from the nurse before rushing out the door, even as the patient voiced concern over the medicine he was prescribing.

As sad as it is, this is more often the rule than the exception. Physicians and patients alike are feeling frustrated as doctors are forced to rush through appointments, seeing more patients and performing more procedures than ever before in order to make up for declining revenue. Many doctors are being pushed to schedule appointments in 15 minute intervals, forcing doctors to constantly keep one eye on the time in order to avoid falling too far behind schedule. This decimates the provider/patient relationship and leads to missed opportunities in providing outstanding care. With less communication between patients and their providers, more and more patients are leaving the practice frustrated and feeling devalued.

Find New Ways to Increase Revenue and Optimize Physician Time

How can you manage to increase revenue while optimizing physician effectiveness without reducing patient face time? It starts with being intentional.

Consider making some changes to your business model such as adding ancillary services to increase revenue, using remote patient monitoring to keep tabs on patients’ chronic conditions without requiring additional in person visits, and adding more mid-level providers such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants to ensure patients have access to care when you aren’t available.

Hire scribes to perform your documentation for you so that you can keep your focus on your patients during encounters as opposed to being distracted by what needs to be logged into your EMR.

Consider a dictation tool that will allow you to speak your documentation directly into your EHR, keeping your eyes off the screen and on your patients.

Look around your practice to see what processes take time away from your patients and figure out ways to address and correct these issues.

By intentionally finding ways other than reducing patient face time to increase revenue and improve physician efficiency, you’ll be able to meet financial targets and satisfy regulatory requirements without sacrificing patient care. Health outcomes will improve, patient satisfaction will increase, provider burnout will decrease, and providers will be more satisfied in their work.

Let MicroMD Help Get You There


Using a customizable EHR, such as Henry Schein MicroMD, allows your practice to configure your software in a way that fits well with your practice’s workflow. This eliminates the frustration of having to readjust practice processes to fit in with software, placing additional burden on already busy providers.


With MicroMD, your EMR is powerful, scalable, and affordable, meeting all the needs of your practice. We also offer integrated voice recognition software with Dragon One. This software allows physicians to document their care more completely and conveniently without having to take focus away from their patients by speaking data directly into the EMR through their own smart device.


This improves care efficiency and documentation, leading to more satisfaction for both providers and patients. MicroMD is committed to bringing you the tools that will allow you to get back to the most important business – the business of healing.

Ready to see how MicroMD solutions can help you improve care efficiency and documentation?

MicroMD PM

Cloud and on premise Practice Management

MicroMD PM simplifies patient management and revenue cycle from scheduling, registration, billing, claims management and collections.


MicroMD e-Prescribing

Cloud and on premise Electronic Prescribing

Electronically prescribe your patient’s
prescriptions safely and accurately.



Cloud and on premise Electronic Medical Records

Full-featured, customizable ONC Certified EMR that accommodates a variety of specialties. Improve workflow, enhance care delivery and boost productivity.

Patient Face Time Resources


Reclaim Patient Face Time


Tips for Increasing Patient Face Time


Optimizing Your Medical Practice’s Use of EHR


Explore the Solutions Central marketplace and connect with partners that offer integrated and standalone solutions that complement and add value to your MicroMD software and help your practice achieve success.