Electronic Health Records & Stress
EHRs are frequently cited as a major source of stress and physician burnout. What was supposed to be a revolutionary and easy way to electronically store and transmit medical data has instead become a time-consuming burden that divides physicians’ attention during appointments and forces them to spend countless hours at home completing these records. However, there are ways that your organization can make electronic health records less stressful. For instance, see if your organization is willing to hire medical scribes or delegate some of the EHR responsibilities to medical assistants. Doing so would afford physicians less time on their computers and more time caring for the patient during appointments. Additionally, you can customize EHR workflow with time-saving templates and tools, such as simplifying forms that replace numerous and sometimes irrelevant text boxes with a single free-form space for notes.
Organizations may also consider new AI technologies and speech-processing tools that catch keywords in physician-patient interactions and record pertinent information. Institutions like Stanford University assert that such technology will eventually be the norm, so testing these tools now can put your organization on the cutting-edge of technological advancement and allow physicians to focus on patients during appointments while maintaining a healthier work-life balance that minimizes unnecessary “pajama time.”