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Physician Burnout - “Inputting All this EHR Data is Driving Me Nuts and Eating Up My Time.”

Physicians are echoing their frustration at hospitals, medical practices, and other healthcare providers from coast to coast. Their high rate of physician dissatisfaction is so common because of the EHR (electronic health record) administrative burden and busywork.

Doctors often feel EHR systems do not accommodate clinical practices sufficiently and frequently reduce the amount of time doctors are able to devote to the patient-provider relationship. Focusing so much attention on data entry irritates physicians that value face-to-face interactions with their patients…and often leads to burnout.

Is EHR-related physician burnout really that big a problem?

You bet it is!

A recent study published by JAMA of well over a thousand physicians at a large academic medical center reports that, “Physician burnout is increasingly recognized as a systemic health care problem.” With nearly 30 percent of physicians in the study meeting the criteria for overall burnout. In the areas of “…emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and personal accomplishment.” reported

As recently as March 2018, the Harvard Business Review stated that, “After a blizzard of hype surrounding the electronic health record (EHR), health professionals are now in full backlash mode against this complex new tool. They are rightly seen as a major cause of professional burnout among physicians and nurses. Clinicians are spending almost half their professional time typing, clicking, and checking boxes on electronic records. They can and must be made into useful, easy-to-use tools that liberate, rather than oppress, clinicians.”

No wonder physicians are so frustrated and burning out so fast and so often!

What’s causing EHR to be such a royal pain?

EHRs are causing physician frustrations because the system is:

  • Performing several documentation and regulatory tasks. EHR is the electronic patient chart plus records all clinical encounters. Additionally, it also mashes up all the billing functions.
  • Based on dated user interfaces. “The electronic systems hospitals have adopted at huge expense are fronted by user interfaces out of the mid-1990s: Windows 95-style screens and dropdown menus, data input by typing and navigation by point and click. These antiquated user interfaces are astonishingly difficult to navigate. Clinical information vital for care decisions is sometimes entombed dozens of clicks beneath the user-facing pages of the patient’s chart,” according to the Harvard Business Review article.
  • Asking unfamiliar (unprepared) users to handle unfamiliar tasks. Physicians are clinicians and not necessarily computer experts. The do the best they can, but often have not been adequately trained to speed through entries. The formats are not intuitive to an average user… being difficult to navigate, hard to read, and challenging to see as useful data.

These frustrations can make physicians surly prisoners of poorly realized technology…and lead to burnout, dissatisfaction, and inaccurate or incomplete documentation.

How can you counter these EHR challenges?

Physicians are not completely opposed to EHR use and agree that some features do increase satisfaction to combat burnout. However, one of the mail stressors is usability. To turn that around, physicians need to be better trained and prepared, so they are more comfortable with EHR.

The solution is to turn to outside EHR training experts on an as-needed basis. These consultants can readily help physicians master the ins-and-outs of EHR and use the system more efficiently and effectively. Plus, outside consulting experts can help the health system with your organization’s unique clinical workflow and configure the system, as needed, to make it more user friendly.

Being more comfortable with EHR and having a system that is designed with the users’ approval in mind means more satisfaction (and less frustration).

What should you look for in outside EHR training consulting assistance?

You should make sure that any and all consultants you bring on board have real-word operational experience and:

  • Are well-versed and experienced in the healthcare environment
  • Can match training solutions to the specific needs of physician usage and satisfaction
  • Understand the implications of regulatory changes in health care
  • Have deep EHR knowledge and related technologies
  • Will deliver actionable and positive outcomes doctors will want to use day-in and day-out
  • Augment training with areas such as utilization management and assist with Prior Authorizations, Concurrent Reviews, Grievance and Appeals, Audit, Auth. Chex, HEDIS, Data Entry (clinical and not clinical personnel), and more!

Give us a shout!

Your physicians should not have to settle for less than the best EHR training and clinical workflow solutions. You deserve to have the people you and your organization need to make your technology and software work for your physician and their patients.

Conclusion

Blue Eagle Consulting EHR training/consulting experts can analyze your IT environment, understand your pain points and objectives, and help your organization craft solutions that meet the challenges of physician dissatisfaction and burnout. If you have a project coming up or a need that we can fill please call us at 1 (866) 981-1095 or email info@blueeagle-consulting.com