According to the American Medical Association (AMA), physicians, burdened by clerical work, spend only 27 percent of their workday engaged in clinical care and patient support. As HCO leaders seek ways to address burnout, an effective, reliable system that can support the organization and integration of EHRs becomes increasingly essential.

Studies have found that hours of data entry have eclipsed time spent on face-to-face patient contact.

A recent study reveals grave and increasingly common instances of physician burnout across the nation — in fact, it’s cited as an epidemic by the American Academy of Family Physicians. With a weekly workload that averages 10 hours more than the conventional work schedule of an American adult, physicians are particularly vulnerable to exhaustion, poor work performance, and dangerous work-related errors.

A report from Medscape further emphasizes that burnout is prevalent across specialties, with health professionals in emergency medicine taking the lead. The most common causes of burnout were attributed not only to the stressful aspects of patient care, such as long hours, poor work-life balance, and communication challenges but also to administrative tasks that take doctors away from interaction with their patients. With nearly half of the workday devoted to administrative tasks such electronic health record (EHR) filing, processing, and organization, the American Medical Association (AMA) reports that most physicians will spend only 27 percent of their workday engaged in clinical care and patient support.

Why EHRs Contribute to Burnout

Though EHR’s are often introduced to improve organization and workflow within a hospital, a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Resources’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality identified a correlation between the implementation of EHR systems with an increase in stress among some medical professionals. The amount of time and technical skill necessary to process and input EHR data properly can be a particular source of frustration.

Usability challenges factor into the negative impact of some EHR systems. Poorly designed or complicated display screens and navigation tools can contribute to a lack of productivity and user-friendliness. Technological malfunctions such as service interruptions can make handling EHRs a dreaded part of the workday.

The extensive amounts of clinical data that doctors are required to file and organize on a daily basis can be overwhelming, as most health professionals are obliged to process data from both internal and external sources. They often spend hours outside the workplace processing and organizing data, which can affect their quality of life. And, without adequate IT support, physicians may be inclined to use shortcuts for data implementation such as copy-and-paste, which have led to some reported instances of mismatched or incorrect data entry, which in turn can lead to the misplacement of critical clinical data and significantly compromised patient care.

Poor performance-measurement tools that provide only high-level metrics that yield little health care data that is actionable and trustworthy further exacerbate burnout.

Possible Solutions

As researchers and HCO leaders seek ways to address physician burnout, an effective, reliable data analytics solution that can unlock all that data in EHRs, as well as other data silos, becomes increasingly essential.

By integrating, normalizing, and enriching clinical data, billing, scheduling, and patient satisfaction, d2i provides a comprehensive picture of performance via an intuitive analytic dashboard. Physicians use the tool to identify actionable insights that lead to improvements in quality, efficiency, and financial results, making the arduous task of data collection more worthwhile.

d2i also helps make the data more reliable by identifying data entry errors that may result from burnout. d2i’s cleaning and integration processes can quickly identify gaps or outliers in the data. Ensuring that data sets are complete and reliable is an important factor in delivering quality care to patients.

Our advanced analytics suite and round-the-clock tech support from field experts can make it easy for your team to drill down on data any way you see fit. Learn more about our service by scheduling a 30-minute demo today.