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Meaningful Health Care Informatics Blog

Aug 21 2011   9:50PM GMT

Task and time management tools

Posted by: RedaChouffani
EHR messaging, Outlook, Physician workflow, Time management, Workflow

For several years now I have benefited from using a centralized to-do list integrated with my Outlook calendar. It offers a complete view of what activities and items I needed to accomplish everyday in an easy to use integrated fashion. But as I started relying more and more on mobile devices and tablets to conduct everyday business, I found out quickly that I needed to begin utilizing different apps that would allow me to easily view my tasks and calendars from any device, at any time.

Fortunately there were several mobile apps that allow me to maintain all my devices in sync with my Outlook tasks, with one of my favorites being toodledo. The toodledo app allows me to apply some of the principles of proper time management outlined in Steven Covey’s “The four discipline of execution,” and allows all of my “toys” to maintain the same list.

But one challenge that some face lies in deciding when to separate and manage multiple to-do lists. For example, for those physicians who are still practicing and also participating in leadership roles, managing their calendar requires a tremendous amount of discipline and time management skills. In a perfect world, a physician’s EHR messages should be able to easily integrate and populate with their Outlook tasks and calendar (securely and without any patient info). Unfortunately, not all systems integrate or sync with Outlook tasks, which means that many times users need to manage multiple lists or else rely on manual synchronization between different systems.

The good news is that many can still successfully and efficiently manage their time even when having to work with multiple lists. Best practice should always be to review your to-do list(s) daily and stick to deadlines, as this will ensure that you are continually monitoring progress are are aware of changing priorities.

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