The ongoing COVID-19 global health emergency has pushed physicians to a breaking point. But physician burnout has more to it than just the huge workload that COVID-19 has brought with it and the difficult decisions that need to be made.
The ongoing COVID-19 global health emergency has pushed physicians to a breaking point. But physician burnout has more to it than just the huge workload that COVID-19 has brought with it and the difficult decisions that need to be made. It’s also routine stressors like the IT used to do administrative work. Technology can be a powerful tool for alleviating stress.
According to a recent research study conducted by ScienceDaily, one of the biggest sources of stress for doctors is the inclusion of maintaining electronic health records (EHR) to their already exhaustive list of duties to be performed on a regular basis.
More time spent doing clerical documentation work implies less time spent with patients and/or less personal time spent out of the workplace. This obviously isn’t ideal, but it also puts a strain on disillusioned physicians who spent years studying with the hope of getting to work closely with patients and honing their craft.
So then, where exactly does the solution lie? Effective data management is the key to rid physicians of this problem. Some of the ways this can be done include:
Health data is growing highly complex and multi-dimensional with every passing day. Data management is now more a necessity for any medical organization trying to mitigate burnout among physicians and other support staff than it ever has been.
The unnerving number of tasks that demand too much of a doctor’s time and attention on a daily basis can drive them up the wall—more so if their schedules aren’t designed as they should be, and there is a shortage of resources.
A report conducted by HIMSS Analytics found that continuous interruptions from phone calls, pagers, alerts from apps, and texts create stress that, in succession, fuels burnout in doctors and nurses.
This suggests that one of the factors that can help prevent burnout considerably is having an integrated, well-designed solution in place.
Telemedicine can prove to be one effective solution on this front. By integrating telemedicine within one’s practice, or even adding telemedicine to a hospital system, physicians can easily streamline processes, offload some aspects of their work, and generally make their lives easier.
This is clearly evident from the fact that telemedicine adoption has skyrocketed in recent years. Close to 60% of human healthcare providers now regard telemedicine as a favorable solution, and a lot of patients feel the level of care furnished through this solution is as effective, or even better than in-person doctor visits (per the 2020 Doximity telemedicine report. There are a number of reasons telemedicine can help mitigate physician burnout and stress:
Ashley Mitek is a contributing author. Send your technology questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.