Improving efficiency can be a key component of preventing physician and staff burnout. Look for opportunities at your facility to address your staff’s top areas of frustration to help keep them happier and more engaged.
The Impact of Physician & Staff Burnout
Providers are consistently working under the strain and pressure of balancing the cost of care, quality of care, and patient satisfaction, which creates an increasing demand on their time.
Medscape Lifestyle Report 2017 measured 27 physician specialties on burnout. All but one specialty gave a four or higher rating based on a seven-point scale.1 They measure the overall physician burnout rate at 51%.
The impacts of burnout can touch multiple areas of a practice – provider retention, error rates, customer satisfaction or the organization’s culture. It can even have a financial impact. Just replacing a physician is estimated to cost between $500,000 to $1,000,000.2
Not surprisingly, the Medscape study identified these four areas as the top causes of burnout:
- Too many bureaucratic tasks
- Feeling like just a cog in a wheel
- Increased computerization of practice
- Spending too many hours at work
Tackling Inefficiency to Prevent Burnout
Providers are frustrated with all the keying, manual entry and duplicate work that interrupts their day and takes away from delivering patient care. Finding ways to automate manual processes may help reduce face-time with the computer, help reduce errors and get rid of some of the frustrations of the paperwork – reducing the potential for burnout.
One helpful way to reduce these tasks is by using connected devices. Consider the lab tests you perform in office.
When you receive urine sample test results on a paper print-out, someone is walking down the hall to deliver or receive the results. Then someone scans or keys the information into the EHR and it routes for approval again, even though it’s already been seen. This creates added steps for the providers as well as the opportunity to mismatch the results with the patients – or potentially enter the wrong results.
Consider using software like RelayMed to connect your lab devices to your EHR. Test results automatically flow into your EHR and are available instantly with 100% accuracy.4 No more trips down the hall, no more keying, no more errors – helping you increase productivity and patient satisfaction.
Look for opportunities to reduce computer time by exploring how you can connect more of your devices to your EHR.
Is your scale connected or are you manually keying height and weight for every patient?
Explore tools within the programs you’re already using. Are you already ordering supplies online? If you are, then there may be added features within your ordering platform that can help reduce some of these time-consuming tasks. If not, you should consider this – many supply portals offer capabilities to automatically match invoices to packing slips, help reduce the number of items in inventory, send you inventory notifications and help you manage your inventory so you don’t run into delays or complications that a manual process may bring.
Identify the areas within your center that are causing frustration and burnout for your team. List them in priority. Then tackle the top 3 – one at time.
Tools for Improving Efficiency
1: Peckham, Carol 2017, Medscape Lifestyle Report 2017: Race and Ethnicity, Bias and Burnout. https://www.medscape.com/features/slideshow/lifestyle/2017/overview
2: Rosenfeld, Jordan. Medical Economics. February 2018. “Calculating the financial cost of physician burnout.” http://www.medicaleconomics.com/medical-economics-blog/calculating-financial-costs-physician-burnout
3: Berg, Sara. AMA Wire. September 2017. Family doctors spend 86 minutes of “pajama time” with EHRs nightly.” https://wire.ama-assn.org/practice-management/family-doctors-spend-86-minutes-pajama-time-ehrs-nightly
© 2018 McKesson Medical-Surgical, Inc.