Best Strategies to Utilize EHR to Lower Physician Burnout
Burnout results from emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment. In the healthcare setting, medical providers can face high emotional demands and workloads that can lead to burnout.
A study found that 40% of physician burnout is linked to electronic health records (EHRs). Moreover, stress, time pressure, a chaotic workplace, and family obligations are factors to consider.
Yet, how can physicians avoid burnout when it comes to EHRs? This article will discuss the five best strategies to utilize EHR to lower physician burnout.
5 Best Strategies to Utilize EHR to Lower Physician Burnout
- Choose an EHR System With a Specialty-Specific Program
A major cause of physician burnout is a complicated EHR interface not tailored to their specialty.
Non-specialty EHR interfaces are the most common reason for interface failures. If physicians used a non-specialized EHR, they would have to click the mouse multiple times to perform one small task. Over time, this can lead to frustration and physician burnout.
The use of a specialty-specific EHR offers many advantages that:
- Gets rid of useless tools and features to reduce confusion and improve daily EHR usage.
- Improve clinical outcomes for doctors by making the EHR workflow more user-friendly.
- Provides secure access for physicians to patient records that increase patient care quality and treatment.
- Continuous data collection enables personalized care, allowing providers to prevent health problems before they arise.
As a result, providers can boost clinical efficiency and reduce physician burnout by using specialty-specific EHR interfaces that provide only relevant data.
- Don’t Waste Your Time on Unnecessary EHR Tasks.
In the United States, 86 percent of office-based doctors and 94 percent of hospital doctors currently use EHRs. Despite its intended benefits, EHRs have inadvertently burdened clinicians and have been cited as a cause of physician burnout as well.
That’s why physicians need to eliminate all EHR tasks that are unnecessary.
Optimizing EHRs requires eliminating processes and tasks that interfere with patient care.
Think about the unique aspects of your practice. Do you receive too many alerts? Do you still work when the EHR screens close? Streamlining order entry and simplifying login can all be part of minimizing unnecessary EHR work. Discuss the issue with your colleagues, IT, leadership, and other stakeholders if you need to resolve it quickly.
For example, you can turn off automatic inbox notifications for copied test results and test-order and scheduling confirmations other physicians ordered. You can also set another time for the automatic logout for your EHR system.
Removing unnecessary work may take more time, research, and resources, but it may help lessen physician burnout.
- Gather Your Thoughts and Share It With Your EHR Provider
A strong customer support team is another strategy to reduce physician burnout.
It is because they will help you get better acquainted with the EHR software and learn how to use it more effectively. Staying in touch with your solution provider can lead to quick tips for improving efficiency.
Your EMR or EHR company cares about your input since their success depends on your product satisfaction. Thus, share your problems with your EHR provider or request to help improve the product for you and other users.
- Hiring Medical Scribes
Using scribes in physician practices may help physicians cope with clinical documentation demands. Medical scribes are one of the best methods to reduce physician burnout. They record the details of the patient’s exam – clinical history, complaints, diagnoses, procedures performed, and medical orders (including prescriptions).
In addition, they help clinicians find and document information faster. It may be costly for practices to hire one, but the increased productivity of doctors due to fewer EHR tasks will offset the expenditure. According to research, medical scribes reduce physician burnout and improve the physician-patient relationship.
- Provide EHR Staff and Provider Training
EHR implementations, workflow changes, and new health IT modules can drive physicians to frustration. Therefore, the only way to solve this problem is to offer staff EHR training and education so they can efficiently and effectively use EHRs to provide quality patient care.
Learning a new EHR system or health IT module will inevitably slow providers down, reduce clinician productivity, and cause headaches for some as they attempt to adjust to a new way of doing things.
Large health care systems are likely to have their teams of trainers, whereas smaller practices can request training from their EHR vendors.
That’s why investing a few hours a month for staff EHR training by the provider increases efficiency and confidence in using the EHR or EMR. Even while you wait for EHRs to become more user-friendly, you can reduce physician burnout by becoming more comfortable with the software.
When the clinical staff can use EHR technology in the early days after go-live, it lessens physician burnout and dissatisfaction with EHR usage.
The current healthcare market is highly competitive, so these strategies will increase physician ratification and reduce the stress that leads to physician burnout. Additionally, EHRs with properly implemented features produce greater clinical and financial benefits.
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