A recent Mayo Clinic study found a disturbingly high incidence of physician burnout: 54% of doctors reported experiencing at least one symptom of burnout. Doctors experiencing burnout are 40 percent more likely to move to part-time work, and twice as likely to consider leaving their current practice, or medicine altogether. As a result, aspiring young people are having second thoughts about giving their lives to a profession that is inherently so highly stressful.
Even more alarming, the physician suicide rate is now much higher than the general public’s – even exceeding that of combat veterans. In view of these trends, the ECRI Institute named clinician burnout a top patient safety concern for 2019 and suggested that it now be considered a public health crisis.
Whether you’re in solo practice or a large group setting, burnout now touches nearly all aspects of healthcare delivery.
6 Tech Tips for Fighting Physician Burnout – Using EHR
These six tips are technology-based solutions that can be implemented directly through today’s leading EHR systems. While some points may seem somewhat simplistic in nature, in our experience a large number of clinics fail to employ the stress-reducing features already available to them in their technology platform.
Review each of the tips to ensure you are taking advantage of these proven burnout-fighting features.
Tip 1: Maximize Patient Self-Serve Capability
Convenient online access that is fast, intuitive and always available puts patients in the driver’s seat and relieves staff and providers from the stress and headaches of a number of routine interactions:
- Scheduling. Patient schedule/re-schedule their own appointments, receive automated reminders.
- Intake Forms. Patients fill out forms online prior to the appointment; Information is automatically uploaded to the EHR.
- Lab Results. Patients can view lab results on their portal without the need for staff intervention.
- Rx Refills. Patients request refills that are approved per system rules or as part of the provider’s dashboard-powered workflow (see below).
- Telemedicine. Can relieve a lot of stress and last-minute scheduling issues.
Tip 2: Simplify Complex Workflows
Visibility and priority are the two foundation stones for managing and simplifying complex workflows.
- Dashboards. Track task status for each provider and address the most crucial issues first.
- Visual graphs. provide at-a-glance simplicity in managing all crucial tasks.
Tip 3: Reduce Cognitive Overload
These innovations can help manage the complexity physicians deal with in treating a steady stream of patients.
- Customized templates. Customized templates for your specific specialty and practice style.
- Patient Cards. Summarizes key patient information to a crib-sheet type summary.
Tip 4: Streamline Administration and Reporting
Provide at-your-fingertips access to both summarized and drill-down detailed reporting and insights.
- Central Billing Office. Consolidates data across the entire operation, and provides deep analysis capability.
- Automated Reporting. Automatically tracks and compiles all key data for reporting such as MIPS.
Tip 5: Eliminate Revenue Cycle Bottlenecks
Two of the biggest stressors in this area are denied claims and insurance eligibility issues.
- Denied Claims. Deliver virtually flawless first-pass clean claim performance.
- Insurance Eligibility. Check a patient’s insurance eligibility status in seconds, prior to the visit.
Tip 6: Ensure Smooth, Simple Interface
Access and interaction with the system should be smooth and simple for providers, staff and patients alike.
- Single Database. Single database for the entire system – billing, practice management, EHR and patient portal.
- Smooth Workflow. Unified database dramatically improves all other workflows and processes automated by the system.
Goal Alignment: Reduce Physician Burnout
Just as clinicians have a higher purpose in their work, technology can serve a higher purpose in healthcare, by enabling clinicians to easily communicate and share information without having to take their hands and attention away from patient care. The right technology can be a valuable tool that fosters human connections at every point of care. Get the free eBook now.