Quantitative measure of workload

Counting the number of patients seen in a day provides a quantitative measure of workload in general practice, but it may not fully capture the complexity or quality of care.

Factors like appointment types, administrative tasks, patient diversity, and team support including sickness rates influence how busy it feels for a GP.

Workload perception is multidimensional, and a combination of quantitative data and qualitative assessments is necessary for a comprehensive understanding.

GPAD and other NHS data are showing increases in the number of appointments done in primary care vs previously but the pure numbers don’t capture the increasing complexity and perhaps the level of stress.

We are spending a lot of time counting and trying to count accurately – which isn’t as easy as it sounds! But do we need to try to measure other factors?

Stress of practitioner is an interesting one? Does it matter? perhaps it does if it leads to sickness/early retirement and workforce recruitment/retention issues.

Retrospective surveys are often poorly filled in and not that useful. A colleague got hold of a Bluetooth dice that linked to an app and logged which ever side it was on – the idea it being a way of recording what he was doing when and for how long – however I wonder if it could just be used as a stress scale? are you are Stress level 1 or 6? turn it during the day and log it?

Value added or complexity of intervention is an interesting one. Is a simple diabetes annual review in a fit healthy 50 year old the same as seeing a 84 year old with 5 chronic diseases who is feeling unwell? yet both count as 1 on a count of consultations.

In a lot of spheres there are measures – ASTROSTAR PUS, weighted lists that try to adjust for this. Could our computer systems somehow weight the complexity of a consultation and add that to simple count? Look at complexity of the condition – what interventions were done – how many tests were ordered etc..