Electronic health records have significantly contributed to improved clinician productivity, information exchange, and an overall improvement in the quality of care. However, the rise in the adoption of EHR technology hasn't been without negative consequences. Just last year healthcare leaders of some of the nation's top healthcare organizations, health systems, hospitals, and physician practices called on healthcare CEOs to address physician burnout as the high level of burnout "should be considered an early warning sign of dysfunction in our health care system."
The 11 healthcare CEOs who authored the piece published to Health Affairs consider EHR technology to be one of several key contributors to physician burnout.
The HITECH Act of 2009 led to widespread (and rather quick) adoption of electronic health records across the country but at what price? The digitalization of health records brought us new care delivery methods and improved access to health records but today, nearly a third of physicians are spending 20 hours or more a week on paperwork and administrative tasks, according to the Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2018.
In all, 70 percent of survey respondents said that in 2018 they spend 10 hours or more weekly on paperwork and administrative tasks. That’s up significantly over last year when 57 percent of respondents to the 2017 survey reported spending 10 hours or more on these items.
Steps to Addressing Burnout
Healthcare CEOs called on EHR vendors among others to combat physician burnout stating that “while EHRs are evolving in a meaningful way in some institutions, the pace of enhancement must accelerate across the board. Health care delivery organizations, organized medicine, payers and other interested parties need to work with EHR vendors to improve their product offerings, which could reduce EHRs burden on physicians.”
Earlier this year at the 2018 eClinicalWorks National Conference we sat in on breakout sessions designed to help users find new ways to use the software to save time without risking productivity or care delivery. We also heard from CEO and co-founder Girish Navani on upcoming features designed to reduce the administrative burdens physicians face today.
Here, we'll highlight three ways eClinicalWorks users can either combat physician burnout today or look forward to doing so in an upcoming release of the software.
1. eClinicalWorks Scribe
eClinicalWorks ScribeTM allows providers to generate accurate and comprehensive Progress Notes on the spot and use voice-based commands to complete many documentation tasks within eClinicalWorks.
Watch a short video below on how eClinicalWorks users Gastro Health and InterMed are using Scribe to combat physician burnout while delivering the highest quality of care.
Clinicians can dictate or type patient narratives directly into a text box and let eClinicalWorks Scribe convert the free text into structured data automatically. eClinicalWorks Scribe even places the text within the appropriate sections of the Progress Note for you.
Prizma made its debut at the National Conference this year and will establish one longitudinal view to provide the critical information providers need to make informed health decisions.
eClinicalWorks developed Prizma as the solution to establish a health information search engine to ensure providers have access to health data from various care settings organized into one point of care, creating a longitudinal view of the patient record.
As an integrated health information search engine, Prizma facilitates care across networks by coordinating information from interoperability networks, such as CommonWell and Carequality, as well as payers such as CMS Blue Button® 2.0 API. Prizma includes sophisticated search capabilities and displays patient data in a format in which physicians can make informed decisions. By empowering providers, Prizma improves the delivery of care and helps promote better health outcomes.
“The internet contains a wealth of information, and search engines play a critical role by organizing and presenting relevant information. Currently, health information is scattered throughout various care settings,” said Girish Navani, CEO and co-founder of eClinicalWorks. “Prizma is the solution that very effectively searches, organizes, and presents relevant patient data, revolutionizing the availability of information and transforming how it is displayed.”
3. eClinicalWorks Virtual Assistant - Eva
Eva is a standard feature for eClinicalWorks customers who update to the latest version of the EHR software. Eva enables users to improve practice efficiency by interacting with eClinicalWorks' technology in a conversational manner.
"Physicians will be able to interact with technology a lot easier — as easy as using Alexa," Sameer Bhat, co-founder and vice president of sales at eClinicalWorks, told the Boston Globe. "Technology like this will really cut down the time and help them find information."
The voice-activated assistant is meant to help clinicians find relevant patient information more quickly. To activate the software, a physician is able to say, "Hello, Eva," followed by a request to find a patient file. Eva responds with "What would you like to do?" alongside a menu of possible selections — for example, a physician might say, "Eva, show me today's lab."