Table 2.

Variation Among Task-Structuring Strategies

StrategyDegree of StructurePrimary Source of InformationKey Information Acquisition Point(s)Mechanism for Conducting EncounterManagement of EncounterTime Orientation
WIC = Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.
Sticky noteHighElectronic medical recordBefore clinic, beginning of the day, plan is made for the patient encounter based on the chief complaint.Using sticky note list, previsit plan is institutedPrevisit plan is implemented; sticks to the recorded chief complaint and physician-planned list of issuesRegimented and stays on time
TemplateMediumWritten templatesContinuousPhysician maintains binder with management templates based on age, sex, and disease statusFollows anticipated templateRegimented and stays on time
Familiar and fastLowPhysician memoryDuring patient encounter from the patientMental processing using own memory and input from the patientAttentional surplus used to address problems of limited nature, reschedule for complex issuesRapid processing, with flexibility in agenda, but stays on time
Doorstep planningMediumChartBefore patient encounterMental tally of agenda is organizedPatient’s complaints are first elicited and than addressedClock is a guide, goes over- time if particularly important patient care is needed
Scan chart outside the examination room
Now or neverLowAll available sources eg, chart, WIC, social worker, clinic nurse, family or friend, etcContinuousIterative list of needs based on information gathered before and during the encounterProactive with expectation for comprehensively addressing care needsFlexible with no time constraints, though time intensive for the patient