The Financial Cost of Physician Burnout

The following is a guest blog post by Wayne Crandall, President & CEO of NoteSwift.

Burnout is costing us billions, and some strategies to lower burnout are expensive and ineffective. However, innovative technology offers us a way forward.

A quick Google search on the topic of “physician burnout” reveals countless numbers of blogs, articles, and research detailing the massive impact burnout is having on our doctors. Over 54% of doctors are now expressing mild to severe levels of burnout, which affects both their personal health and the quality of care they can provide. Burnout leads to poor job satisfaction, negative workplace culture, increased medical errors, and a poor patient experience.

Check out this free white paper, “Physician Burnout By The Numbers

But the negative impact of physician burnout doesn’t end there – recent studies have begun measuring the financial impact of physician burnout on small practices, hospitals, and health systems.

Consider the following numbers:

In sum, the financial cost is enormous, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down.

Dr. Christine Sinsky, vice president of professional satisfaction at the American Medical Association, sees the clear connection between physician burnout and EHR requirements: “We have to recognize the exacting toll that the first generation of electronic health records have had on physicians,” Sinsky said. “I would identify it as one of the most important drivers of physician burnout.”

Some clinics and health systems are trying to find solutions to reduce physician burnout and the financial costs it creates. For example, the Cleveland Clinic hired 320 new nurse practitioners to handle routine tasks for physicians as a strategy to reduce burnout. While this strategy may be effective, it can also raise costs for the clinic and may not be a viable solution for many organizations.

Atrius Health, Massachusetts’ largest independent physician group, has announced a very interesting strategy to reduce burnout – they are attempting to reduce the total number of mouse clicks required by their physicians by 1.5 million a year.

How can this strategy be effective? Because EHR workflows have become bloated, increasingly regulated, and directly connected to reimbursement, which forces physicians to handle most of the tasks. Making the EHR workflow simpler, more intuitive, with less clicks and more accuracy is a primary way we can all help physicians reduce levels of burnout and improve patient care at the same time.

In my role with NoteSwift, we are creating solutions directly in line with the strategy adopted by Atrius Health – we’ve created an AI solution that integrates with EHR software and reduces the number of clicks required to enter information while improving accuracy by intelligently identifying the structured data elements of a patient encounter. Our solution can help practices both reduce the time they spend in their EHR workflow and increase the accuracy of coding each visit. And the greatest benefit is to the patients, who receive more quality time with their physicians when they are not burned out or buried in their EHR screens.

To receive your complimentary copy of our white paper, “Physician Burnout By The Numbers,” click here. You’ll receive instant access to the paper as a resource for you and your team.

About Wayne Crandall
Wayne Crandall’s career in technology spans sales, marketing, product management, strategic development and operations. Wayne was a co-founder, executive officer, and senior vice president of sales, marketing and business development at Nuance Communications and was responsible for growing the company to over $120M following the acquisition of Dragon and SpeechWorks.

Prior to joining the NoteSwift team, Wayne was President and CEO of CYA Technologies and then took over as President of enChoice, which specialized in ECM systems and services, when they purchased CYA.

Wayne joined NoteSwift, Inc. at its inception, working with founder Dr. Chris Russell to build the team from the ground up. Wayne has continued to guide the company’s growth and evolution, resulting in the development of the industry’s first AI-powered EHR Virtual Assistant, Samantha(TM).

NoteSwift is the leading provider of EHR Virtual Assistants and a proud sponsor of Healthcare Scene.