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"

This is all an avoidable tragedy
EMR should have never been a major burnout cause 
It should have been a simple staffing issue

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 --

This is Blog Post #313
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Study Highlights


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. 


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)

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


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

Stop Physician Burnout - Beat back the Whirlwind Today in just twenty minutes

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Physician Burnout - Defeat the Whirlwind Today

The universal experience of working with patients is one of OVERWHELM. No matter where you are on the care team; physician, APP, MA, Nurse, Reception - you are attacked from all sides the minute you walk into your practice in a literal tornado of stuff coming your way.

Some of it makes sense, much of it does not and all of it saps your energy and dominates your life ... if you let it.

The WhirlWind will WIN this battle if you don't take some time to build your life balance/burnout prevention strategy. Once you recognize the hypnotic power of the whirlwind and understand you can win this battle ... the next steps are not complicated.

This is Blog Post #308
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It can be as simple as this ...

Sit down with your family and decide just one thing you want to change or one target you want to hit in the next 4 months.

What is one thing you want to ... 
- Stop Doing
- OR Start Doing
- OR one thing you want to plan/experience/check off your list
In the next 120 days????

THEN TYPE IT IN HERE and let us (and fist bump baby) Help You Make it Happen.

The fun part here is: your one thing doesn't even have to be about work.

What's your One Thing?


Tags: stop physician burnout

Stop Physician Burnout - Government Regulation and Unions are Just What We Need .... Right?

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Get the Tools & Support to Help Lead the Physician Wellness Movement
Quadruple Aim Physician Leadership Retreat
Full Details at This Link

Feels like we have reached a tipping point in the debate about addressing our modern physician burnout epidemic.

People are running out of patience with the healthcare industry ... and appropriately so.

For the last five years physician burnout rates have hovered around 50% and the industry has responded in its usual academic fashion. Task Forces and Action Collaboratives have been organized, position papers and intellectual models published and a flurry of research into one prevention tool at a time is in the pipeline. They are struggling to "solve" what they think is a "problem" and missing the true nature of burnout in the process. The deck chairs have simply been rearranged.

... All while the whirlwind of your practice day slowly intensifies beyond your capacity to cope. 

But something has changed very recently. Here's what I have noticed just in the last month or so on the internet ...

This is Blog Post #307
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For the first time I am seeing mainstream articles calling for two new approaches to the burnout swamping our people in the front lines.

It is as if a certain slice of the general public and the physicians of America have given up on our healthcare industry taking care of its own issues any time soon. 

I have a quick question for you ...


Tags: stop physician burnout, physician trade union, healthcare government regulations

The ClusterF*ck of the Modern Physician Burnout Epidemic

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

What would you say about an industry that reliably burns out half of their most valuable workers ...

  • Workers that take over a decade to train
  • Are the point of origin for 100% of gross revenue
  • And for which there is already a massive shortage that will get much worse in the near future

This same industry clearly understands that physician burnout harms and kills patients and doctors and has a massive negative effect on the organization's bottom line.

What words are most appropriate to describe such insane behavior? [even Lemmings would appear to be more interested in their own survival]

When you realize the job demands on the average doctor are a clear and present danger to the doctors, the staff and their patients, it is not uncommon for the term ClusterF*ck to come to mind. Sometimes you will even let it slip with your outside voice ... right?

BTW, if you are a healthcare leader,
upset or moved to action by the gist of this blog post
Let's Connect
We promise fresh ideas and powerful collaboration

Hang on a second, is that term even accurate?

Follow along with me as we explore the semantics and I give you 5 simple ways to begin clawing your organization out of this morass ... no matter what you personally call it.


Tags: physician leadership, stop physician burnout, healthcare leadership

Our Strategic Partnership with SE Healthcare

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

stop physician burnout se healthcare dike drummond the happy md physician burnout prevention programTheHappyMD.com Strategic Partnership with SE Healthcare

TheHappyMD.com has recently formed a joint venture and strategic partnership with SE Healthcare to create and launch The Physician Burnout Prevention Program, the most comprehensive enterprise-level physician burnout strategy on the market.

The program uses a unique, customizable survey tool, to identify the level of physician burnout, then delivers proven tools to lower stress and prevent burnout at two levels:
- for the individual physician taking the survey
- and the leadership team overseeing the culture and systems of care


Tags: 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

Get a Proven Strategy to Cut EMR Stress
>> Clinicians Click Here
>> Leaders Click Here

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.


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

Physician Burnout in the Media - a Balanced TV Report at Last

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

A balanced presentation on Physician Burnout in the mainstream media is rare in my experience

I always am a little uptight when I talk to a reporter about the burnout epidemic. You never know what will end up on the cutting room floor, the number of ways you can be misquoted is infinite and the doctor haters are everywhere on the internet.

So it was very refreshing when Dr. Michael Peterson invited me in to deliver an All Day Training Event to the good people at UCSF Fresno ( @UCSFFresno ) earlier this year and Connie Tran from the local TV station filmed and edited this segment for a weekly weekend spot called MedWatch Today.

Fair, balanced, empathetic towards the doctors and a straightforward presentation of the issue. How refreshing!!

This is Blog Post #302
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Videos like this will be key to implementation of the Quadruple Aim in our fractured healthcare system. Only when a critical mass of the general public - our patients - are up in arms about physician burnout and asking legitimate questions about

  • the health and wellbeing of their physician
  • and the effects of burnout on the quality of care they receive

... only then, can we expect active burnout prevention measures in healthcare delivery organizations nationwide.

This is a good first step IMHO.


  • What do you think about the representation of burnout in the lay press?
  • Have any local news outlets in your area done a balanced job of reporting on this issue?




Tags: stop physician burnout, physician burnout in the news

Does the Healthcare Industry Exploit Doctors?

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Does the Healthcare Industry Exploit Doctors? 

Dr. Danielle Ofri - author of the book What Doctors Feel - wrote a groundbreaking piece in the New York Times this week entitled: The Business of Health Care Depends on Exploiting Doctors and Nurses

In the article she writes:
"Counting on nurses and doctors to suck it up because you know they won’t walk away from their patients is not just bad strategy. It’s bad medicine." 
We couldn't agree more.

Unfortunately, her article then crashes and burns in an impossible recommendation that half of all US Healthcare Administrators be fired, because:
"If we converted even half of those salary lines to additional nurses and doctors, we might have enough clinical staff members to handle the work."
Duh! AND I think we agree no organization is going to take her up on that change in business model. 

Stop The Madness

Help Us Lead the Physician Wellness Movement
Quadruple Aim Physician Leadership Retreat
Get Complete Details at This Link

In this post let me show you

  • Why we agree with Dr. Ofri that physician exploitation is built into the industrial practice of medicine

  • Some simple Case Study examples of exploitation from our thousands of hours of physician burnout coaching client files

  • The Triple Competitive Advantage if your Leadership Team STOPS Exploiting the Doctors and begins to Practice the Quadruple Aim Instead


Tags: dike drummond, physician leadership, stop physician burnout, quadruple aim, physician exploitation, exploit doctors

Stop Physician Burnout - you just don't party enough

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Stop Physician Burnout - you just do not party nearly enough

In this post let me show you a quick, fun, powerful method to build a more supportive culture among any group of physicians - a method most groups completely ignore.

Because of the power of an active Social Calendar (partying more), this is one of the four components of our Quadruple Aim Blueprint Strategy for Corporate Wellness.


Whenever I am in front of a room of 100 - 200 - 300 physicians delivering a live training, I always ask them this question ...

"How many of you can look around the room and see someone you have never met before?"

How many hands do you think go up?


Tags: stop physician burnout, quadruple aim, quadruple aim blueprint

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