Last month, Medical Economics published an article summarizing the results of a study performed at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation examining the link between the number of EHR-generated messages doctors receive and job satisfaction levels and burnout.
As a follow-up to that story, we recently interviewed Gary Price, MD, president of The Physicians Foundation, about its efforts to combat burnout and train doctors for leadership positions in healthcare. Price is a plastic surgeon practicing in New Haven, Conn., and is on the clinical faculty of the Yale School of Medicine.
Excerpts from that interview appear below, edited for length and clarity.
Medical Economics: How long have you been using electronic health records?
Gary Price, MD: I’ve been using one now for 7 or 8 years.
ME: What system do you use?
GP: In my office, we use Nextech, which was originally designed for plastic surgery practices. And, in fact, when they were doing their design they actually came to my office and talked to me before they developed their beta version. And they were already doing our bookkeeping software and our practice management software, so we went with them. At the hospital, I have to use Epic.
ME: You have first-hand experience coping with EHR algorithm-generated inbox messages. Can you tell me more about that?
GP: My frustration is the constant interruption and inefficiency it puts into my daily workflow. Just last week, I spent a day at the outpatient surgery center and I estimated at the end of the day I had wasted an hour and a half doing unnecessary documentation or fighting with the system so that it would allow me to discharge a patient or even to get started.