Physician Burnout and EMR - it's the Keystrokes, Silly. Documentation Overload and Four Ways Forward

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

The consensus is clear, EMR and documentation overload is the single largest source of stress for most physicians.

How did it come to this?

Because forcing physicians to both take care of patients AND perform as a data entry clerk is bad for everyone involved - the patient, the doctor, the doctor's staff and family ... EVERYBODY.

We already have studies showing two hours of documentation chores for every one hour of direct patient care. This documentation disaster already has a slang term for its ability to destroy doctor's family life - "pajama time".

This is Blog Post #287

Complete Blog Library  is Here

In this blog post let me show you:

  • A single graph that perfectly expresses the overwhelm, specifically for US doctors - check it out
  • Four reasons why this is happening, specifically to US doctors
  • Four ways to immediately ease your documentation workload - things you can do now, rather than wait for the EMR industry to fix itself

Quad Aim Physician Leader Retreat

1) A Single Graph that Says it All for US Doctors


Tags: electronic medical records, stop physician burnout, documentation overload

Stop Physician Burnout - first, STOP Doing Stupid Stuff

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

To stop physician burnout in large healthcare organizations, here is a key EMR management principle - in Latin of course:

Primum Non Actio Stupidus

This is Blog Post #285

Complete Blog Library  is Here

A recent article in NEJM highlights two fundamental burnout prevention principles - Leaders and Managers, please listen up:
  • STOP making the doctors and nurses do stupid things

  • If you want to know what these stupid things are ... all you have to do is ask the doctors and nurses

Learn three levels of Wellness Tools 
Quadruple Aim Physician Leadership Retreat

From our position in the trenches of the physician burnout epidemic, I can't state this strongly enough to senior healthcare leaders. 

Primum Non Actio Stupidus


Tags: emr, electronic medical records, stop physician burnout, dike drummond md, primum non actio stupidus, stop doing stupid stuff

Why did we let Electronic Medical Records cause Physician Burnout? It should have been a simple Staffing Issue.

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Every time you survey a group of physicians on their biggest stressors, Electronic Medical Records is a clear #1.

Why is that? Why are the implementation of electronic medical records and the dramatic increase in physician burnout synchronous?

This is Blog Post #281

Complete Blog Library is Here

In my work with over 140 healthcare organizations to date, the answer is plain as day on nearly every job site I have visited:

This is simple OVERWHELM - in the front lines of patient care, there is too much work and not enough hands on deck

The whirlwind of EMR has destroyed many physician's ability to be effective at the point of care. It is a constant distraction to quality decisions, effective communication and a clear threat to the health and wellbeing of the physicians and their staff members.

Key Resource:
The Burnout Prevention Strategy Engine

Electronic Medical Records and other sources of digital overload (texts, email, patient portals, cell phone apps) have changed the nature of a physician's work and massively increased the number of tasks at the point of care. Studies show doctors spend up to two hours in the EMR for every hour of face time with patients.

It would be No Big Deal if the healthcare industry had done the most appropriate thing ... increased staffing levels to handle the increased workload. With rare exception, employers have simply dumped the data entry responsibilities on the doctors and other front line staff.

This is a completely avoidable crisis.

Ineffective management of digital overload has turned EMR into a Physician Burnout Issue ...
when it should simply be a Staffing Issue !!


Tags: stop physician burnout, electronic medical records, emr, Team Based Care

Physician Burnout - EMR Shaming has to STOP

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Physician Burnout - EMR Shaming Has to STOP

Every time I survey a group of physicians asking, "What are the top three stressors in your practice day?" ... EMR and other documentation issues ALWAYS make the list. This is true regardless of specialty without exception. 

EMR is a slave to Big Data, designed by people who have never seen a patient and it is a huge cause of physician burnout in a significant number of doctors.

AND we can do a MUCH better job of helping our physicians clear the EMR hurdle in their day if we STOP SHAMING the people who struggle the most.

Here is a common practice scenario for a burned out physician who comes to us for coaching.


Tags: Physician burnout, emr, electronic medical records

EMR Power Training - Two Ways to Lower Your TITO

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

EMR Power Training

Two ways to consistently lower you TITO week to week

TITO = Time In The Office

How can you build an office day where you spend more face time with your patients than keyboard time with your EMR?

Too often I speak with physicians who are spending hours after the last patient on EMR documentation and - tragically - even more hours grinding away at the keyboard from home after they tuck the kids into bed. If that feels familiar to you, I promise it does not have to be that way.

Here are two ways to start permanently lowering your own personal TITO week after week by cutting down the amount of time you spend typing into your EMR. These are two pieces of a comprehensive strategy to address the dilemma of EMR.


Tags: Physician burnout, emr, electronic medical records, ehr, medical scribe, ehr template, emr template

9 Reasons Physicians Hate EMR - The 2013 RAND Study

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

9 Reasons Physicians Hate EMR - Findings from the 2013 RAND/AMA Physician Satisfaction Study

Hot off the Presses.
The results of the Physician Satisfaction Study sponsored by the RAND corporation and the AMA became available this week and all 152 pages are a treasure trove of information on how to lower stress, prevent physician burnout and create more satisfaction in your organization.

In short ... this is the Physician's "Love It/Hate It" list for the Clinical Practice of Medicine here in 2013


Tags: Physician burnout, physician satisfaction, physician engagement, physician engagement and alignment, emr, electronic medical records, physician stress management, physician stress, dike drummond md, electronic medical record, ehr, emr implementation

Medical Records Quality – Dictation Comes In Last for Doctors

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Medical Records Quality Worst with Physician Dictation

As I work with over stressed and burned out doctors … one of the most common causes of frustration is the documentation of medical records. It does not matter what system is used, most doctors see their medical records system as a drain and wast of time.


Tags: dike drummond, electronic medical records, physician coach, medical records, medical records quality, patient medical records, medical record

Compassion Fatigue, Physician Burnout and Your Emotional Bank Account

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Compassion Fatigue, Physician Burnout and Your Emotional Bank Account

For anyone in the helping professions, Compassion Fatigue is a common occurrence. 

Here is the origin of compassion fatigue, its relationship to physician burnout and what you can do when you recognize it in yourself.

Compassion fatigue is when you find yourself challenged to care about your patients in the way you know is proper and expected in your position. Doctors, nurses, therapists, law enforcement, social workers, military … the list goes on. All these professions rely on some degree of Empathy and Compassion to function at maximum effectiveness.

Cynicism, Sarcasm and feeling Put Upon

If you find yourself being cynical or sarcastic about your patients you have compassion fatigue. It can come in the little voice in your head, or mumbling under your breath or “Venting” to your colleagues or staff.

If you find yourself feeling like your patients / staff / institution are deliberately trying to wear you out or drive you crazy – you have compassion fatigue.

Compassion Fatigue … Your Emotional Bank Account is Empty


Tags: dike drummond, emr, electronic medical records, dr. oz, doctor oz, mehmet oz, electronic medical record

New call-to-action

Subscribe to Email Updates