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EHRs Continue to Fuel Physician Burnout

Samara Rosenfeld
FEBRUARY 22, 2019


Today, the American Medical Association, the Mayo Clinic and Stanford University School of Medicine published a study in Mayo Clinic Proceedings that revealed that while physician burnout rates have decreased since 2014, physicians are still at the highest risk for burnout.

Although it is good news that the rate of burnout has gone down, the study found that almost 44 percent of physicians have shown at least one symptom.

Janae Sharp is a Utah HIMSS board member, a HIMSS social media ambassador and the founder of Sharp Index, a nonprofit dedicated to improving awareness and tools to combat physician burnout. A frequent contributor to Inside Digital Health™, Sharp sat down with us as HIMSS was winding down to talk about the efforts being made by the healthcare industry to alleviate burnout.

>> READ: EHRs Are Fueling Physician Burnout. So, Now What?

For Sharp, one of the most exciting parts of HIMSS was being approached by Cerner, an electronic health record (EHR) vendor. EHRs have a bad reputation in the healthcare industry, as the technology takes away from physicians getting to spend time with patients and leads to hours of administrative work.

Since the technology has been blamed for adding to physician burnout, Sharp said that Cerner reached out to her to tell her what the company is doing to help reduce burnout.

Sharp finds it really hopeful that those responsible for some of the issues with physician burnout are actively working on trying to improve the problem, rather than waiting and be forced into finding a solution.

Geeta Nayyar, M.D., MBA, chief healthcare and innovation officer, had a lot to say about burnout as well.

Nayyar told Inside Digital Health™ that physicians went to medical school to practice medicine and to make an impact on diseases and people’s lives. With regulatory and reimbursement policies in place, physicians don’t get to see their patients as often — or as long — as they should be in order to help improve outcomes.

And Nayyar added that while EHRs were made to improve workflows, they often slow physicians down and create more work for them.

While you’re here, Inside Digital Health™ is working with Sharp Index to collect and share letters to providers. Our collaboration aims to fight burnout by inviting patients, health system administrators and innovators alike to write a simple letter of gratitude to a physician. Previous letters can be found here and here.

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