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Clinician stress and burnout related to user of the EHR

The introduction of the Electronic Health Record (EHR) has certainly brought about a major change in the way healthcare is administered in this vast country.

EHR's have evolved in a big way from the time they first came to be used in a moderate way in the healthcare industry a few decades ago. From then on, although the push towards making all health records online has been on -and the US economy saves close to $80 billion a year on paper and other aspects -the rate of penetration of EHR has been rather low for a country as technologically advanced as the US. Just over a quarter of all health records are electronic in the US, compared to over 95% in the Netherlands.

The major benefits of putting a completely electronic healthcare record system in place are discussed in most healthcare circles in the US. The fact that the use of EHR saves valuable physician time, which can be used for administering health, for instance, gets highlighted at discussions. However, what often gets sidelined or left out of discussions is the stress the use of these healthcare records cause to their users.

Burnout associated with the use of EHR

An often-overlooked topic; clinician stress and burnout related to user of the EHR has remained largely confined to the backburner. Clinician stress and burnout related to user of the EHR is a collateral damage the extensive use of EHR has brought about. A study carried out back in 2009, i.e. almost a decade ago, showed that a little more than one half of the physicians reported late for office visits, another half or so said the pace of their work pace was disorganized, close to four-fifths said that the control they had over their work was lowering, and over a quarter reported burnout. Around half of all us physicians show at least one symptom of burnout, a number that has been growing steadily from the previous years.

High impact in a number of core areas

All these affect the quality of work that the physicians provide. The use of information and communication technologies can cause user stress and negatively impact user health and productivity in the business domain. Interns spend only an eighth of their time on direct patient care and more than five times that number on indirect care. Just using computers took two fifths of their time.

The presence and use of EHR's has causes information chaos, which affects physician performance and patient safety. While the amount of data used per medical decision is increasing exponentially, the amount of time allocated per patient is not expanding correspondingly to match and accommodate this increased information processing required. The result is an increase in the pressure on clinician time.

The significant increases in the burnout rate among clinicians put pressures on the healthcare system in the US. A physician under pressure brought about by the use of EHR cannot administer major quality healthcare programs such as Meaningful Use, MACRA, etc.

Learning on how to manage stress

Is there a way of this situation? Can the American healthcare system handle the clinician stress and burnout related to user of the EHR and mitigate its effects on the patient and the physician alike? These will be discussed in detail at a webinar that is being organized by MentorHealth, a leading provider of professional trainings for all the areas of healthcare.

At this webinar, Philip J. Kroth, MD, MS, who is a professor in the University of New Mexico (UNM) School of Medicine, will explain the ways of managing clinician stress and burnout related to user of the EHR. To enroll for this highly relevant topic, please enroll for this webinar

Being of very high value to professionals in the healthcare sector that are particularly prone to burnout brought about by the use of EHR or those who are associated with them, such as Physicians, Physicians Assistants, Nurse Partitions, Hospital Managements, Health IT Designers and Government Regulators; this webinar will cover the following areas:

  • Define stress and burnout
  • Review the results from the speaker's study on clinician stress and burnout secondary to HICT
  • List several features of EHRs and other HIT associated with stress and burnout
  • List several coping strategies for HIT-related stress and burnout.

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