Ensuring Physician EHR Use Doesn’t Lead to Physician Burnout

Kyle Murphy | EHR Intelligence | March 28, 2016

AMA President Steve Stack, MD, talks about the realities of physician burnout and the impact of physician EHR use on the phenomenon.

With the entire healthcare industry undergoing tremendous amounts of change — from how care is coordinated and delivered to how providers are reimbursed for that care — there are likely to be side effects. One the head of the American Medical Association (AMA) is targeting is the matter of physician burnout tied to providers having to balance the day-to-day realities of patient care with federal and state mandates regulating aspects of that care such physician EHR use and clinical quality reporting.

"Doctors will get behind things that support better quality of care and support them in their clinical practice. It's the nonsensical stuff that makes it infuriating and challenging," AMA President Steve Stack, MD, tells EHRIntelligence.com.
"When we are going to get adverse consequences to ourselves or hospitals by complying with the current thinking in medical treatment rather than outdated quality reporting and regulation," he continues, "those sorts of things are good examples where regulation is not a good tool at times to try to keep up with the fast pace of medical innovation, and good intentions can lead to undesired adverse consequences."

Stack points to recent evidence of physician burnout published last fall in Mayo Clinic Proceedings reporting a significant uptick in physicians reporting at least one sign of burnout over the past several years — from 45 percent in 2011 to 54 percent in 2014 — and what it means to a physician's practice of medicine. "Now when physicians get burned out, they feel overworked, overburdened, overstressed, under-supported — just like anyone in any other profession, except that in this profession people rely on us to make very high-stakes decisions that directly impact their health and if we don't get it right, the consequences are not retrievable unfortunately at times," he maintains...