Doctors today are overworked. From increasingly sick patients, to burdensome administrative tasks, to a patient exam time that’s squeezed on the front and back end—there are many culprits that contribute to the amount of overtime doctors are currently working. Despite increasing workloads, doctors are not seeing less patients. They pile this work on top of their already full schedule and manage to squeeze in more patients.
This does not lead to a healthy work-life balance. Something’s gotta give, and it’s not going to be the patients. Physicians are too committed to putting the patient first to clock out when their paid hours are up. There are several factors that have resulted in a field of overworked doctors.
Several Increased Demands:
1. Data Entry in the Electronic Health Record
The number one factor that leads to doctor overtime is clinical documentation in the EHR. EHRs have completely changed the way that healthcare organizations operate. But it’s not all bad. No one wants to go back to the days of excessive paper charts in filing cabinets and difficult-to-decipher handwritten notes. However, the amount of documentation required today is excessive and tedious. Government regulations require far more documentation than is clinically helpful, and all this documentation leads to the problem of note-bloat.
On top of documentation, some doctors are being asked to spend time on coding work. We believe that you should never make doctors be coders. Doctors did not go to medical school to be coders. Delegating extra administrative work is crucial to increasing work-life balance for physicians today, and coding work should absolutely be delegated to a team of coders.
2. Extra Time on Chart Reviews in the EHR
Doctors used to be able to quickly flip between the pages of paper charts to prepare for patient exams. They knew exactly what data they needed and where to find it, and it took them seconds. Now, doctors spend almost 2 hours of their day on chart review. 30 minutes of that time is spent after hours, contributing to the problem of overworked, burned out doctors.
Navigating through multiple tabs just to find the information needed to treat your patients is an unnecessary time-waster and headache for doctors. That’s why we designed AccelaVIEW, an application that works with your EHR and is completely customized by you, the doctor. This screen shows you all the data you need to see, exactly the way you want to see it. Start your free design now.
3. Sicker Patients
Patients today are sicker than they were 10 years ago. The number and severity of chronic conditions has steadily increased, leading to more complex encounters. In the midst of an increased complexity, the amount of time for patient encounters has not increased, nor has the number of patients seen in a day decreased. Doctors are simply making it work.
“Pajama Time” is the New Normal
A study by the AMA found that doctors are spending an average of 86 minutes doing “pajama time” with their EHR each night. With all of the documentation and administrative work shifted to physicians, they have to log into their EHR from home to get it all done. Because physicians are in the medical field to help patients, they are not willing to simply clock out and leave work undone. They know that work left undone could lead to medical errors and patient harm.
Prevent Overtime on the Front-End of Patient Exams
Of all the factors leading to doctor overtime and eventual burnout, one area can be addressed right now. That is the amount of time and the difficulty of reviewing charts before a patient exam.
When vendors designed EHRs, no one asked doctors what they needed. That is why reviewing patient charts became harder, not easier, with the implementation of EHRs. We are asking doctors what they need to see, and designing personalized screens. All the data you need for a patient exam can be viewed in an intuitive, easily digestible format. The best part? It works with your EHR! No need to waste time and money switching vendors. Find out how much easier your patient exams could be by starting your free design today.