EMR FAILS and a Dose Response Curve for Physician Burnout Revealed

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

The adoption of the Electronic Medical Record is a clear and obvious cause of physician burnout.

This new study provides three new data points for both providers and healthcare leaders:

  • Evidence of a dose response curve between EMR exposure and physician burnout
  • Objective measurements of EMR usability compared to other unpopular software programs.
  • And an actual letter grade from physicians for EMRs as a group.
    (No surprise here - EMR gets a big fat "F"

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This is all an avoidable tragedy
EMR should have never been a major burnout cause 
It should have been a simple staffing issue
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We consider this paper a MUST READ for all C-Suite Healthcare leaders, Chief Wellness Officers and Wellness Champions

We read the study so you don't have to!
Highlights and commentary below --

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This is Blog Post #313
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Study Highlights

READ MORE NOW

Tags: electronic medical records, stop physician burnout, EMR usability

Physician Burnout and EMR: if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree ...

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

"Everybody is a Genius.
But If You Judge a Fish by Its Ability to Climb a Tree, It Will Live Its Whole Life Believing that It is Stupid"

~ Albert Einstein (?)

The first time I saw this quote two things became clear to me in a flash.

  • The logic behind the quote is undeniable
  • AND the author is obviously talking about physicians and the Electronic Medical Record

Every week I talk with CMO's and other senior physician leaders who simply cannot understand why some of their doctors "struggle to get out of the room,  stay on time,  see a minimum number of patients per day, over-charting" and more. 

And every week we meet hard working doctors who are haunted by the simple doubts, "what is wrong with me that I can't get my charts done?" and with the next breath, "I'm not sure how much longer I can keep going like this."

This stand off is smack in the middle of a gaping blind spot we see in nearly every healthcare organization. 

stop-physician-burnout-quadruple-aim-retreat


Practicing Medicine
and Data Entry into an Electronic Medical Record
are two separate skill sets
(And one of them is WAAAY more important than the other)

QUESTION:
Is it actually some sort of inscrutable riddle, a conundrum, a freaking MYSTERY why doctors struggle with the Electronic Medical Record and other digital forms of overload??

The answer is simple:

Many leaders are judging a fish by its ability to climb a tree

READ MORE NOW

Tags: emr, electronic medical records, albert einstein, stop physician burnout

Physician Burnout and EMR - it's not about the Progress Note

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

New Study proves EMR is the Kraken of physician stressors - a multi-armed nightmare of overwhelm - where the Progress Note is the least of our worries.

The modern Electronic Medical Record is so much more than just a method to create a digital Progress Note. Yes, indeed. That is just the start of its contributions to the quality of your daily practice experience

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Get a Proven Strategy to Cut EMR Stress
>> Clinicians Click Here
>> Leaders Click Here
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Your EMR's ability to send out multiple arms of stress into your work day ... each one sucking time and attention away from actually taking care of patients ... is so perfectly toxic to the practice of medicine, that a horror metaphor from the high seas is appropriate here. 

EMR is the Kraken of physician stressors

You remember the Kraken; that ship-eating massive squid monster that would crunch your three masted schooner like a bag of potato chips and tear you limb from limb with the eagle beak hiding in the place where its legs all meet -  YUCK and OUCH !! 

Why a Kraken? Eight separate arms, any one of which can wrap around your throat and choke you out of your practice day. You can chop off seven and he/she/it can still wrap you up and take you down.

One of the arms of the EMR Kraken is the perfect click storm you must wade through just to document a simple Progress Note. This one task is onerous enough all by itself now that it is digital.

But the Progress Note doesn't seem to be the worst stressor for doctors.

READ MORE NOW

Tags: emr, electronic medical records, stop physician burnout, in basket

Stop Physician Burnout - 4th grade math shows the epic fail of the current practice of medicine

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Stop Physician Burnout - 4th grade math shows the epic fail of the current practice of medicine

We don't need no stinking spreadsheets

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This is Blog Post #290
Complete Blog Library  is Here
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Let me show you a simple, reproducible, fourth grade math demonstration of the power of team based care and up-staffing the back office. Along the way you will begin to sense the staggering waste in the current practice of medicine, caused in part by industry standards like the MGMA annual staffing survey.

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We Build, Install & Support Corporate Burnout Prevention Strategy
Using Experience with 165 Clients to date -- CLICK to learn more
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The reason EMR is killing doctors is simple -- OVERWHELM

Doctors were never meant to handle both
1) the complex interactions and thought processes of diagnose and treat, teach and manage patients
2) AND the digital documentation of those interactions via any one of the current truly demonic user interfaces.

The implementation of EMR doubled the workload on the doctors.

Most employers did not staff up to handle it. Instead, relying on annual staffing surveys to show them the average back office staffing ratio is the same as it was back in paper chart days - 1 Doc + 1 Medical Assistant. 

That's right, the work load doubled without a change in the number of hands on deck.  The documentation falls on the doctor simply because:

- we are ultimately liable for what is in the chart
- we don't punch the clock and stop working at 5PM

It is as if someone designed the system of care specifically to burn out doctors and now they use industry averages to reinforce the travesty. You can't design a more perfect meat grinder for the average doctor and now it is considered the standard of care.

The result:


A 4th Grade review of the numbers reveals a way forward

READ MORE NOW

Tags: electronic medical records, ehr template, stop physician burnout, emr strategy, electronic health record

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".

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This is Blog Post #287

Complete Blog Library  is Here
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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

READ MORE NOW

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 component of your Quadruple Aim Strategy - in Latin of course:

Primum Non Actio Stupidus
[ First Don't Do Stupid Things ]

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This is Blog Post #285

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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

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Learn three levels of Wellness Tools 
Quadruple Aim Physician Leadership Retreat
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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

... just STOP IT ...  Please ! READ MORE NOW

Tags: dike drummond md, emr, electronic medical records, stop physician burnout, 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?

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This is Blog Post #281

Complete Blog Library is Here
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In my work with over 160 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.

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Key Resource:
The Burnout Prevention Strategy Blueprint
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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 !!

READ MORE NOW

Tags: emr, electronic medical records, stop physician burnout

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.

READ MORE NOW

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.

READ MORE NOW

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

READ MORE NOW

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


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