The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced that it is making changes to its Inbox Notifications system, a messaging system intended to communicate important clinical information, such as test results, referrals, medication refills or high-priority messages, but that has become bogged down with non-urgent, unimportant information. Seeing patients is the most fulfilling part of the job of a physician, doctors said, but far too much of their time is spent doing paperwork. The change will give VA's primary care physicians, in particular, more time to devote to patient care. Early results show the system is working: Clinicians now spend an hour and a half less on emails per week.
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