This scenario is all too familiar: It’s nine o’clock at night and a physician is at home catching up on documentation after a full day of patient visits. A recent survey found that physicians were spending two hours of their personal time every night on documentation. Physician burnout is an acknowledged issue within the industry, and many healthcare organizations are developing plans to combat it. In addition to the toll on the physicians, there is an impact on patient care. The Joint Commission recently issued a report specifically citing clinician burnout as a contributing factor to adverse events.
Are electronic health records (EHRs) to blame? While they are a contributing factor, burnout rates among physicians using an EHR are higher (57.2%) than those not using an EHR (44.6%). However, this is a multifaceted issue. There is a dichotomy between what is needed to effectively treat patients vs. requirements for defensive documentation, clinical analytics quality reporting, and insurance payment reform. Many physicians feel they have been relegated to the rule of data entry clerks. Medicine itself also is constantly changing: new drugs, new tests, and new guidelines and protocols.
Read the full blog post by Christine Parent, Associate Vice President, MEDITECH in September 2017 Health Management Technology.
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