5 key thoughts on physician burn-out with EHRs

Written by Laura Dyrda | March 29, 2016 | Print  |

Physician burn-out is a significant issue in healthcare today, with a physician shortage looming and several physicians nearing retirement age.

Electronic health record implementation could contribute to physician burn-out, according to an EHR Intelligence report. Here are five things to know about avoiding physician burn-out with EHRs based on expertise from American Medical Association President Steve Stack, MD.


1. There are several aspects of EHRs that are frustrating for physicians, including inefficient use, lack of interoperability and significant cost. The systems may also go down and physicians aren't able to care for patients during that time. Physicians are typically on-board with implementing new technology and idea that support better quality for the clinical practice, says Dr. Stack, but have a difficult time with tools that have adverse consequences.


2. In many cases, physicians are spending time at home on evenings and weekends filling in the electronic records; this is time they once spent with their families or recharging for the next day's patients. The inefficiencies in the documentation process that lead to taking extra time away from their families can lead to increased burn-out.


3. Physicians aren't wholly adverse to new technology and in many cases are excited about data gathering possibilities to improve care. But when they're forced to spend more time entering data than performing their clinical functions, the physicians start t ofeel lke secretaries and clerks, which isn't the job they signed up for.


4. New EHR designs could eliminate some of the current inefficiencies and quality data gathering requirements that fit with improving patient health would go a long way to partnering with physicians on these initiatives and reducing burn-out.


5. The MCRA and MIPS programs could eliminate their pass-fail, all-or-nothing methodology to reward physicians for what they are able to do instead of penalizing them because one or two measures aren't fulfilled.


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