Departmental Bulletin Paper Medical clerks in a national university hospital : improving the quality of medical care with a focus on spinal surgery

Kobayashi, Kazuyoshi  ,  Ando, Kei  ,  Noda, Makiko  ,  Ishiguro, Naoki  ,  Imagama, Shiro

80 ( 1 )  , pp.73 - 78 , 2018-02 , Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, School of Medicine
In our institution, which is a national university hospital, medical clerks were introduced in 2009 to im- prove the doctor’s working environment. Seventeen clerks were assigned to 9 separate departments and the work content differed greatly among departments, but sufficient professional work was not done efficiently. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of the work of medical clerks on improvement of medical quality in recent years. In 2011, we established a central clerk desk on our outpatient floor to improve efficiency and centralize the clerk work. Since 2013, periodic education of clerks on spine disease has been provided by spine doctors, and this has facilitated sharing of information on spinal surgery from diagnosis to surgical treatment. This has allowed medical clerks to ask patients questions, leading to more efficient medical treatment and a potential reduction of doctors’ work. In 2016, a revision of the insurance system by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan increased the amount of medical work that clerks can perform, and it became possible to increase the number of medical clerks. Currently, we have 30 medical clerks, and this has allowed establishment of new clerk desks in other departments to handle patients. A training curriculum will be developed to reduce the burden on doctors further and to improve the quality of medical treatment.

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