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.
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.
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.
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 !!
Stop Physician Burnout: Save a Million Clicks a Day With This One Simple Change
Every day, all over the world, physicians waste time and energy on EMR and other documentation tasks that completely obstruct our ability to provide a quality patient encounter.
I am talking about things we are forced to do on the computer that are a COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME
These are computer tasks everyone knows add no value whatsoever to patient care. Their only consequence is increased stress and wasted time and energy for everyone involved.
Here is a simple - one step - inexpensive solution that will save well over a million clicks a day across the USA and instantly and permanently give every single provider back time and energy as soon as you plug the darn thing in. It really is that simple. Ready?
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.
Prevent Physician Burnout with our five-part EMR & Documentation Strategy - Video Training
Any time you survey physicians on the workplace stresses that are causing physician burnout - EMR / EHR and documentation chores will be listed as three of the top five stressors. This happens for obvious reasons.
1) You were taught to diagnose and treat disease and take care of patients - not hunt and peck at a keyboard. You were never meant to be a master of data entry and fancy keystrokes, but somehow this has become a critically important aspect of your job.
2) You think EMR is a Problem. It is not. It is another example of a Dilemma. Watch this video first to understand this fundamental distinction.
What you need is a Strategy to deal with your own personal EMR and Documentation challenges.
Watch the following video for our five-part EMR Strategy.
Implement any one of these this week and you will be getting home sooner before the weekend.
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.
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
EHR Implementation Struggles and 3 Ways to Do It Well
In this article, I will share three important concepts that will take a lot of the struggle out of your EHR implementation. Each one of these are simple to implement and produce immediate results.
Let's face it ... doctors don't like documentation requirements no matter what form they take. Remember back to the days of paper charts for a moment ... you hated those too ... piles of them on your desk and sometimes on the office floor ... reminding you of the visits you still needed to remember and document.
The Electronic Health Record takes away the piles ... and puts a whole bunch of new stresses on us to keep our charts complete. Are things worse than in the days of paper? A significant number of physicians say yes
"I started to feel better about my life within a couple weeks of beginning our conversations. I knew that I had an ally and friend. I realized that my feelings were predictable based on my circumstances, that I was “normal”. For the first time in years I had real hope that things would change for the better.
We worked together to find and interview for a new position in the worst job market for my specialty the recruiters have ever experienced. With Dike’s help and persistent positive attitude, I found a new position at a group that really cares about the doctors and I start in two weeks.
For me, the program has been worth everything. It has enabled me to emerge from my depression, change my toxic work situation, improve my home and family life, and allow myself to be happy and realize that I deserve to be happy.”