Combatting Clinician Burnout

eHealth Technologies Blog: Steve Malta, Account Manager, eHealth Technologies

It seems like every week I am either reading about new studies related to clinician burnout, or I’m talking with hospital department administrators about their challenges with clinician burnout. There’s no doubt it’s an issue many health systems are dealing with. According to a New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) Catalyst spring 2018 report about burnout, 83% of clinicians, clinical leaders, and healthcare executives view physician burnout as a problem at their organization.

Clinician burnout can have a variety of impacts on a health system. There are financial implications, such as replacing a provider that leaves, which can cost the organization hundreds of thousands of dollars. It can also negatively impact quality of care and staff/patient satisfaction.

A recent article from EHR Intelligence discussed the link between clinician burnout and EHRs. Studies show that as EHR adoption has increased in recent years, so has clinician burnout.

Working with hospital administrators – consulting on workflows and staffing responsibilities – we inevitably end up talking through how to alleviate clinician burnout. Access to outside medical records for referred patients can be a challenge for hospital departments, and the eHealth Connect® solution is also designed to help address clinician burnout. Not only does it reduce barriers to accessing records, it eliminates frustrations related to records review.

Below is my top five list of ways administrators can combat clinician burnout:

  1. Faster turn-around-time for record retrieval for referred patients means clinicians can schedule and see patients with critical medical needs more quickly. Isn’t that why they went into healthcare in the first place?
  2. Having access to a complete medical record – not just a CCD – gives clinicians more information to work with as they are evaluating a new patient.
  3. Delivering records that are clinically-organized, with information formatted into sections with key terms that are highlighted and searchable, makes it easier and faster for physician to review records and prepare for the patient’s first appointment.
  4. Being able to access outside records right within the clinicians’ EMR streamlines their review process and eliminates using multiple systems that can have different log-ins.
  5. Create a situation where the initial patient appointment is more valuable. With access to all relevant information, more time can be spent talking about a treatment plan, instead of locating additional records – something both patients and clinicians will appreciate.

While there are a host of factors that impact clinician burnout, it’s important for administrators to understand how some of the issues can be addressed. The healthcare industry can’t afford to lose talented clinicians or jeopardize the quality of care or experience patients receive.