How to Prevent Physician Burnout

Tag Archives: EHR Best Practices

How to Prevent Physician Burnout

It is no secret stress and burnout are a cultural epidemic. 79% of the American workforce report feeling frequently stressed out.1 Of all the looming stressors in the workplace, workload resounds as the number one cause of stress.2 What are we doing to reduce stress in our workplaces? If stress could be reduced, burnout of employees would subsequently decrease. Additionally, how is the healthcare industry working to reduce physician burnout?

Burnout is defined as “long-term, unresolvable job-related stress that leads to exhaustion, cynicism, feelings of detachment from one’s job responsibilities, and lack of a sense of personal accomplishment.”3 Physicians often begin to experience stress and burnout when a role becomes focused on administrative tasks instead of the care they deliver. Clinical professionals get tied up in charting, responding to messages, and more while also juggling to see their expected amount of clients. 

The Correlation Between EHRs and Burnout

As discussed in our previous blog post, electronic health records are a hot topic when discussing physician burnout. Clinicians spend approximately half of their time on administrative tasks.4 EHR inboxes are often the culprit of these long clerical hours. Clinicians are frustrated by the complexity of messages, poor inbox design, and information overload. Multiple medical professionals report the inability of an EHR to create a smooth and efficient workflow. The endless clicks and difficult navigation of EHRs lead to frustrated employees. One physician stated, “I didn’t become a physician to do data entry.”5 EHRs have significantly changed the profession of medicine. How are we making sure change is for the better?

Reducing Burnout for Clinicians

For physicians, work overload and burnout does not have to be “just part of the job.” When practical tools are put in place, workflow efficiency increases. With the workforce evolving, clinicians constantly adapt to new technologies. If technologies hinder or increase workload, what is the benefit? While many industries have created technologies to automate workflow, EHRs have often added to the workflow. 

Successful EHR companies center their mission on enabling practitioners to excel in their practice. There must be an understanding clinical professionals are not in their field to be technological gurus. EHRs succeed when they are easy to learn. Clinicians excel with solutions t adapted with minimal headaches. Additionally, customization and personalization are critical in interface design. A customized and personalized solution will let users see only what is needed for daily tasks. When EHR usability is designed with the user at the center, clinicians can streamline their everyday work.

Open communication between clinicians and EHR vendors can ease the burden of burnout

Another key value in reducing physician burnout is open communication. It’s important to communicate openly with colleagues and supervisors when feeling burnt out. Clear, open communication is equally important with your software vendor. A positive experience requires shared information and an ongoing relationship between EHR vendors and healthcare professionals. The best software teams dedicate themselves to listening and improving as they serve their customers. 

Your EHR and Burnout

Patagonia Health centers our EHR on not only being easy-to-use but easy-to-learn. All technology is easy-to-use once a user masters it. Implementing an easy-to-learn software for clinicians eases stress and decreases the often frustrating steep learning curve of new technology. Additionally, Patagonia Health configures our software to match our customers’ clinical workflows. See for yourself how Patagonia Health can ease your workload. Contact us today to schedule a call and see a live demo.

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6 Ways to Optimize Your EHR

optimize for EHR success with your EHR vendor

Whether you are moving from paper, a hybrid system or an existing EHR, now is the time to think about how to optimize your EHR. It’s not an easy task. It has a lot of moving parts. But, putting this effort in before you search for an EHR vendor and implement a system is key to your success.

1. Make it a Collaborative Effort

EHR optimization is a collaborative effort. All of your key stakeholders should be involved. This includes personnel from billing, program management, practice administration and clinical. However, don’t forget to include your EHR vendor in this list. They will help you work through this process and help provide insight and best practices.

2. Re-imagine your Operations

Begin by re-imagining your day-to-day operations with technology in mind. For instance, if you used to pull and file charts, how would you do that differently with electronic files? What are your patient-centric activities? Then, think about how these activities can be streamlined so you can provide more effective patient care. This is where you begin developing your workflows. Believe it or not, your EHR can be optimized to follow your organization’s processes.

3. Go beyond the Basics with Documentation

Go beyond the basics. What works and what doesn’t work for your organization? What information do you need for every client? Are there things that can be templatized to make your process more streamlined? Do you need check boxes or free text? Also, think about how your current documentation processes can be improved and work those changes into how your EHR functions.

4. Really Think about your EHR Workflow

Just because you’ve always done it a certain way doesn’t mean you should continue with it. People moving from paper often try to recreate their workflow in their EHR. But, if you are trying to leverage the value of an electronic system, you should consider how your organization can capitalize on that functionality. Think about the possibilities of how your clinic can function now that information is available for any authorized staff member.

5. Keep your Eye on the Bottomline

Cash flow and revenue cycle management can be a real business issue. Create goals or benchmarks for your key financial performance metrics, and use your integrated EHR system to monitor critical reports on a regular basis. In addition, you can share results with the entire team around daily collections, insurance claims outstanding, and your insurance Aging Report. When practice management, electronic health records and billing systems are integrated, you will see a direct impact on your revenue. You’ll begin seeing increase cash collections, a decrease in aging and better reporting for earning government funding.

6. Personalize. Configure. Customize.

Think about how your solution can be tailored for your organization. For example, how can your EHR be personalized for your users so they only see the information that’s relevant to their role? Similarly, how can it be configured with your programs, templates and forms? And, as often is necessary, how can your EHR be customized to meet your unique needs?

As you’re on your journey to implement an EHR that is optimized for your organization, ensure you select a vendor that will truly be a partner for you. One who will help you implement best practices for clinical workflows that meet the needs of your care setting. Optimizing your EHR will help you improve quality of care while also improving your team’s productivity. It’s a win-win.

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Patient Consent Forms Are Now Editable

Editor for Electronic Health Record Patient Consent Forms

Patagonia Health demonstrates its responsiveness to customer requests with the addition of the Patient Consent Form Editor. The new editor is an add-on to our Electronic Health Record (EHR) system. You may now customize patient consent forms with the detail and language that best applies to your center.

For example, your organization may now add additional or varying information to a consent form, such as services refused by a patient. Or, you many wish for patients to choose between optional statements. Additionally, forms may be specified according to language (English, Spanish, or Multi, which is both English and Spanish) within the editor. The version number/specification of the document are also able to be established or updated.

Users with Administrative or Template Editor roles may create, update, revise, and customize consent and authorization forms they require patients to complete and sign. They may access the Patient Consent Form Editor through the Practice Administration portal.

The top portion of the form, which pulls data-specific information from the patient record, is not editable. Likewise, the signature area located on the bottom of the form is also not editable.

“The consent form is considered legally binding after it is signed. It is no longer editable once signed,” says John Ramsey, chief enterprise architect for Patagonia Health. “When a signature is captured via the Patient Consent App, the consent form becomes a locked document within the patient record, much like a PDF.”

Get in touch with us today if you are interested in learning more about the Patient Consent Form Editor.