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Apr 10

5 Ways Automation Can Relieve Physician Burnout

There has been a good deal of discussion around the issue of physician burnout in recent years, and for good reason. This is a common problem in the healthcare industry and its negative effects can be devastating. One way to potentially help alleviate some of this burnout is with automation. Read on to learn more.

What is physician burnout and how prevalent is it?

Physician burnout is a state of mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion caused by prolonged, excessive stress in the workplace, in this case a healthcare facility. An individual struggling with burnout experiences feelings of cynicism, depersonalization, and a reduced sense of personal accomplishment. This impacts not only the individual who is struggling, but also their ability to provide adequate patient care.

Physician burnout is a significant problem in the healthcare industry, and its prevalence varies across different settings and specialties. A 2020 report from Medscape found that 42% of US physicians experience burnout, while a 2018 study from JAMA Internal Medicine reported that the highest rates of burnout existed among physicians in emergency medicine, critical care, and urology.

5 Ways Automation Can Relieve Physician Burnout

As burnout is caused by excessive stress and workload on a physician, anything that can alleviate part of that workload is beneficial. Here are five uses of automation that can help to relieve physician burnout:

  1. Electronic Health Records (EHRs): Automating documentation through an EHR system enables providers to spend less time on paperwork and more time focusing on patient care. This can be achieved with templates as well as through voice recognition software.
  2. Clinical Decision Support (CDS): Using CDS can ease some of the burden on providers as they come to a diagnosis and decide on a treatment plan. CDS serves as a double check, suggesting appropriate tests and treatments, alerting for drug interactions, reminding physicians of best practices, and overall reducing the cognitive load on providers and thereby reducing errors as well.
  3. Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM): RPM enables providers to care for patients, often those who are chronically ill, without being physically present. Many of these solutions have automated monitoring that notifies providers when something needs their attention, allowing them to provider outstanding patient care while also having a little breathing room in their workload. Telehealth streamlines the process of patient care, making appointments more efficient for both patients and providers.
  4. Medication Management: ePrescribing provides opportunities for automation, particularly regarding refills. Additionally, these programs help to reduce errors by bringing up allergies and drug interaction messages to ensure that providers are prescribing appropriate medications.
  5. Population Health Management: There are opportunities within population health management to automate the identification of at-risk patients, as well as predicting disease outbreaks. Being proactive in this way can reduce the burden of managing chronic conditions as well as prevent avoidable hospitalizations.

Physician burnout remains an issue in the healthcare industry, impacting not only the individual well-being of providers, but also the quality of care they can provide. While the continuing trend of physician burnout is concerning, by embracing automation healthcare organizations can take meaningful steps toward easing this burden, creating healthier work environments, and improving patient outcomes. While this is not a complete solution, it is certainly a step in the right direction.

At MicroMD, we strive to offer solutions that ease providers’ burdens while they administer patient care. Our simple, customizable, and connected MicroMD EMR streamlines documentation and enables providers to focus on their patients, while also supporting medical decision making with Clinical Decision Support. Virtual care is supported through Medpod and its scalable solutions, while MicroMD EPCS Gold allows providers to prescribe even controlled substances safely and securely.

For more information on these and other solutions offered through MicroMD, visit micromd.com or call 1-800-624-8832.

About the author,
Crystal Stanton

Crystal is a Digital Marketing Specialist at MicroMD. Content creation, social media management, and SEO optimization are just a few of her areas of concentration as she seeks to educate clients and prospects alike about the simple, customizable, and connected solutions we offer at MicroMD.

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