Physician Burnout Affects More Than Just Physicians

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

When doctors suffer from burnout, patients suffer from decreased quality of care. As an industry, we need to address the challenge of physician burnout together.

In past blogs, we’ve talked a lot about physician burnout, its causes, and its effect on doctors and practices. In our last post, we shared some recent research into the financial cost suffered by practices and health systems when doctors feel burned out and leave their jobs or retire early. Physician burnout is a real challenge facing the healthcare industry — in fact, the magnitude of the challenge is so great that 10 major healthcare CEOs recently labeled “physician burnout” a public health crisis.

But physician burnout doesn’t affect just doctors or practices. Patients are also at risk.

Consider the effects on patients:

  • Physicians suffering from burnout are working less hours, leading to longer patient waits for appointments.
  • A 2014 research survey connected physician burnout and “emotional exhaustion” to higher mortality rates in intensive care patients.
  • A 2017 Mayo Clinic report notes that physician burnout negatively affects patient care, patient safety, physician turnover, and patient satisfaction.
  • An Advisory Report published in 2016 notes that physician burnout is linked to a 16% decrease in patient satisfaction and an 11% increase in reported medical errors, increased turnover, and early retirement.

This is yet another reason we as an industry owe it to our doctors and patients to have an honest discussion about the causes and effects of physician burnout and to collaborate on meaningful solutions to overcome the challenge together.

While there are many factors that influence and add to the increase in physician burnout, experts agree that the regulation, use and management of EHRs is one of the primary culprits. EHRs can add tremendous value to our work, but most EHR workflows are cumbersome and inefficient, requiring hours of manual work to meet the requirements of the EHR platform and government regulations.

Our recently published white paper goes into greater detail on the subject of physician burnout. It’s a fantastic resource for doctors looking for research to reinforce their feelings of burnout, and for practices and health systems looking to better understand the challenge.

But we need more than just conversation on this topic — we need action, we need solutions, and we need a strategy to confront the causes of physician burnout.

At Noteswift, we’ve developed an innovative artificial intelligence solution we call Samantha. Samantha works with any EHR system and offers doctors a simple yet powerful solution for dictating the entire patient note on one screen of the EHR, then letting technology parse, match, and complete the entire patient record accurately and efficiently. Samantha not only saves time and money for the practice — it can save doctors from burnout.

According to a recent study, it takes up to 32 manual mouse clicks within a standard EHR to enter and order a single flu shot. 32 clicks! For a practice that completes 1,000 flu shots a month, this is a massive and inefficient use of time.

Samantha offers a better EHR workflow for practices who want to truly support their doctors, save time, improve the completeness and accuracy of their EHR documentation, and reduce burnout and turnover.

And when we reduce physician burnout, we improve our patient care and save lives, which is the driving force behind our mission in health care.

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.