The beginning of a new year is always a great time for a fresh start. Below are some tips on how to refresh both your practice and your mind.
Mind & Body
Take Time for Your CPD:
As a GP you will spend most of the time rushed off your feet and may not have the time to continuously train. CPD is a core part of your GP license that enables you to develop and enhance your abilities and become more proactive in your work. In may be difficult to find time in your daily schedule to assign time to your CPD. However, waking up earlier can allow you extra time to work on the training and a lot of research has shown that being awake earlier can boost productivity and wellbeing. Waking up just one-hour earlier every day gives you an additional 15 days’ worth of time a year.
Improving Work / Life Balance:
Many GP’s may find it difficult to balance their work and home life and may
sometimes feel like work is taking over. Many GP’s may have entered into
general practice with the hope of gaining a greater work/life balance but may have found that is not the case.
Luckily there are some options worth considering:
● Using phone and online triage applications to signpost patients to their most appropriate services.
● Offer patients the ability to ask for sick notes or private referrals online,
instead of face to face consultations.
● The implementation of telemedicine consultations through applications such as MyClinic.com.
59% of GPs in the UK describe their job as extremely or very stressful. A
qualitative study conducted by BMJ stated that stress could derive from a
range of factors such as; the psychosocial component of the work, negative practice culture or the fear of making mistakes. You need to make sure you are taking care of yourself as well as your patients, so here are a couple of things you can do to relieve stress:
● Put in 15-minute breaks between patients to relax or chat with colleagues.
● Gain peer support – Join Young Practitioners group or LMC
● Put aside 15 minutes for a morning coffee meeting with the team –
Allows everyone to unwind and creates a supportive environment.
● Take a breath – Using meditation apps such as Headspace
● Morning Yoga Session – Numerous studies have shown that yoga can reduce stress and anxiety and enhance your overall mood.
● Fruit & Vegetable break once a week.
● Ten-minute power walk sessions with a small group – Short walks have been shown to improve mental wellbeing.
As GP practices are busy on a daily basis it may be difficult to keep on top of
system updates as patients take priority. When dealing with such sensitive
information, it is important to complete software updates to repair any
possible security holes and remove any computer bugs.
Update Contact Info:
The start of a new year is a good time to refresh all your patient contact information. Patients may not necessarily keep on top of their contact details and forget to update information like their phone number, especially if they don’t visit the practice often. It is important to have accurate contact information, particularly if you offer appointment reminders and repeat prescription messages.
If patients have recently moved to another GP practice, then their files should be archived. The start of a new year is a good time to ensure all patient records are up to date and remove any old patients from your system. Alongside this, a GP practice is usually filled with tons of documentation, not even specifically to do with patients, this is a good time to cleanse all files and make sure you only holding relevant files.
Many of your staff will be trained on various courses, whether its first aid
training, fire safety or health and safety, each of which will have an expiry
date. The start of a new year is a good time to assess which staff have
upcoming retraining in that year, to make sure they are planned ahead of time so there is no gap between an old or new certification.