Unfulfilled Promise of EHR: Doctor Burnout

A closer look at the factors that have led to disappointment

About a month ago, we reported on the perceived failure of the electronic health record (EHR) era—after $36 billion in spending, a report discovered the revolution has gone awry.

This week, we take a closer look at doctor burnout, one of the factors leading to the disappointing outcome. Already a profession known for their long, unpredictable hours, doctors are now burdened with the prospect of spending large portions of their days wrestling with software or navigating click-down menus rather than interacting with patients.

One report estimated that emergency room doctors can expect to perform 4,000+ mouse clicks per shift. What does it mean? Less time to interact with patients, and a weakened quality of those interactions.

An already-extended workday becomes longer, as that paperwork that is pushed aside to make time for patient interaction must be completed before or after office hours. Antiquated systems can make what many doctors believe should be a simple process unnecessarily complicated.

Lastly, maintaining EHR systems is both time-consuming and costly, draining resources that physicians feel could be better utilized on hiring or training additional staff.

After so much time and investment, however, EHR systems are here to stay. How can physicians navigate the frustrating landscape? Send ideas to our editor, Rob Senior, at rsenior@advanceweb.com.


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