How technology can help, not cause more headaches for the physicians using it.
Burnout, and especially physician burnout, is in the news more than ever. It’s costing healthcare millions of dollars every year and potentially endangering patients.
As more focus is put on preventing burnout, technology can help to play a role in keeping physicians at the top of their game.
“Burnout is unfortunately prevalent among physicians and nurses-so it’s important to leverage the health IT that we would use on any patient to help the clinicians who are on the front lines caring for others. For example, wearable sensors can be used to capture multiple physiology biomarkers. When that data is combined with advanced artificial intelligence (AI)-driven analytics, subtle physiology changes can be detected that are precursors to burnout-and earlier interventions can occur.”
-Kuldeep Singh Rajput, Founder & CEO of Biofourmis, a digital therapeutics company with an AI-based platform for therapeutic decision support, in Boston and Singapore
“Let clinicians get back to practicing medicine. Build technology that considers the way a physician thinks and works. The more face-to-face time a physician can spend with the patient, the better the clinical outcome-and the physician will walk away feeling more engaged with a renewed sense of value and purpose.”
-David Lareau, CEO of Medicomp Systems, a physician-driven provider of clinically contextual patient data solutions, in Washington, D.C.
“One way to prevent clinician burnout is to place a focus on what can be called ‘care traffic control.’ Increasingly, clinicians have the ability to leverage real-time patient flow insights from IoT (the Internet of Things) along with mobile collaboration tools, which means they are better able to anticipate their workloads, plan ahead, and improve the delivery of patient care.”
-Neeraj S. Bhavani, CEO of TAGNOS, which leverages IoT, AI, machine learning and mobile communication to automate workflows, in Aliso Viejo, California
“Clinicians go into healthcare to help heal patients, not to manage paperwork. Currently, there are a lot of administrative burdens and measures that bring no value to the table. We have to align healthcare with measures that are, in fact, tied to care delivery and that illustrate what success looks like, so clinicians know where they stand. Let clinicians be with patients-not computers or dealing with paperwork; this is key to improving healthcare.”
-Kevin Mehta, chief operating officer of Payformance Solutions, a provider of value-based reimbursement solutions and services, in Ann Arbor, Michigan
“In healthcare environments, there is a barrage of information being delivered to care teams at a rapid rate. Clinicians do not have control of the amount of information coming at them from multiple systems and people, nor how that information is delivered. To avoid cognitive overload, hospitals and health systems need intelligent workflow solutions to help triage actionable information, provide context, and offload the need for individuals to retain and replicate data. By reducing nuisance interruptions and cognitive burden, clinician well-being and patient safety can be improved.”
-Rhonda Collins, DNP, RN, chief nursing officer of Vocera Communications, Inc., a provider of clinical communication and workflow solutions, in San Jose, California
“Burnout can effectively be addressed by making it possible for doctors to focus on delivering quality patient care. That means serving up technology that makes processes simpler, not more complex-no extra clicks, no deviation from existing workflows. Embedding data-driven insights when and where clinicians need them, for instance, allows them to focus on the patient and not the tech.”
-G. Cameron Deemer, president of DrFirst, a provider of medication management and data solutions, in Rockville, Maryland
“Burnout often can be attributed to clinicians being placed in a situation where they are forced to treat patients outside the scope of their practice or comfort zone, or one that outstrips the resources they have on hand. In settings where physician shortages are a major issue, such as rural hospitals, doing ‘whatever it takes’ can lead to increased clinician stress levels as well as legal risk. In a highly collaborative medical landscape, providers shouldn’t hesitate to involve specialists via teleconsultations or transfers to specialty centers at major academic medical systems to ensure patients receive the clinical expertise they need, without delay.”
-Angie Franks, CEO of Central Logic, which provides transfer center solutions, in Sandy, Utah
“42% of U.S. providers suffer from burnout, and perhaps more alarming is that number is even higher for rural providers. Telehealth can improve access by recruiting and retaining more providers in rural areas, as a virtual network of professional peers can reduce rural practitioner isolation and burnout.”
-Dean Smith, MD, chief medical information officer for GlobalMed, an international provider of virtual health solutions, in Scottsdale, Arizona
“Most provider organizations are entering value-based contracts with performance incentives, and many of the important tasks required to succeed under these contracts fall at the feet of physicians. For long-term success in these efforts, it’s critical to minimize additional provider burden by delivering crucial outputs at the point of care. Leveraging the ability to present information on relevant care gaps, HCC coding opportunities, and optimal referral options can mean the difference between financial success or failure under these increasingly prominent reimbursement arrangements.”
-Kent Locklear, MD, chief medical officer of Lightbeam Health Solutions, a provider of end-to-end population health management solutions and services, in Irving, Texas
“Technology is often a significant contributor to clinician burnout, largely due to EMR documentation requirements; but properly conceived and deployed technology can prevent it. For example, AI-driven clinical decision support tools can help eliminate much of the searching for information that currently takes place by comparing data patterns to those of known outcomes, and alerting clinicians to potential developing issues so they can address them before they become more serious. These same tools can help clinicians calculate and enter data into EMRs in a more timely and accurate fashion-with fewer mouse clicks. Less wasted time, more patient time.”
-Matthew Sappern, CEO of PeriGen, which provides AI-driven perinatal early warning systems, in Cary, North Carolina
“Physician burnout is quite often caused by unnecessary administrative burden. The easiest solution is removing that burden with less clicks, less systems, and less redundancy by surfacing contextual insights directly into the workflow. Technology vendors need to work more closely with physicians to solve this problem by seeking their guidance on what helps and what hinders their success.”
-Julie Mann, CCO of Holon Solutions, a healthcare data liberator, in Alpharetta, Georgia
“The physical aspect of any work environment is one the individual can have immediate control over. Start with proper ergonomics. Strive to work in ‘neutral,’ avoiding prolonged or repetitive extension especially with any loads. Vary your positions and movement patterns regularly."
-Gerard W. Clum, DC, Executive Committee and Board Member of the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, a not-for-profit that informs and educates the general public about the value of chiropractic care and its role in drug-free pain management