Survey: EHRs the Biggest Contributor to Physician Burnout

By AAPL Staff
August 1, 2018

Respondents say electronic health records should be more user-friendly, designed with patients in mind. 

A survey on physician burnout and stress found that physicians cited electronic health records as the top factor contributing to stress.

Reaction Data, a market research firm focused on the health care and life sciences industries, surveyed 254 U.S. physicians about what contributes to physician burnout: 21 percent cited EHRs, followed by payers (19 percent), regulatory compliance (18 percent) and internal bureaucracy (17 percent).

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Each factor is seen as time-consuming, preventing physicians from providing care for the patient. Other burnout factors: work/life balance (11 percent) and malpractice risk (6 percent).

Across different specialties, EHRs were consistently cited as a top burnout factor, although surgeons and physician leadership cited payers/preauthorization as a bigger burden (22 percent and 24 percent, respectively) than EHRs (20 percent).

More than a third of the respondents (34 percent) said user-friendliness in EHRs could be improved to reduce the burden. One respondent, a pediatrician, suggested that EHR vendors “create one by and for physicians — not administrators and technogeeks.”

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An emergency medicine physician said, “EHR seems to be predominantly a billing tool, secondarily a compliance tool. Start over and design EHR for patient care. Too many boxes to click, too many irrelevant alerts, soft or hard ‘stops’ create alert fatigue. Very little useful clinical decision support.”

To download the survey, click here.

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