Physician burnout is at an all-time high. At the start of 2020, physician burnout rates were hovering around 50 percent nationally. With the onset of the pandemic and the associated stressors on healthcare teams, most organizations that have recently surveyed their providers asking about perception of burnout pre- and post-COVID-19 indicate up to a 15 percent increase in burnout levels according to early results from the KLAS Arch Collaborative. One study found that, “physician burnout is associated with a reduced efficiency of healthcare systems to deliver high-quality, safe care to patients.” This same study also found that burnout resulted in a two-fold increased risk of low patient-reported satisfaction.
EHR dissatisfaction is one of the leading causes of physician burnout. According to findings from the KLAS Arch Collaborative, “the more satisfied providers in a certain organization are with their EHR, the less likely it is that many providers in that organization are experiencing burnout.” Conversely, during my time as CMIO at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, we showed that improved EHR satisfaction is directly correlated with a decrease in burnout and physician turnover, as well as its associated costs.
What is the best game plan for building a successful physician EHR satisfaction program? While the details will vary at each organization, the basic structure that has been borne out through studying the most successful organizations is consistent:
- Ensure your EHR is up-to-date, well-configured and supported by the necessary associated technologies
- Provide onboarding and ongoing training
- Enact a governance structure that enables voices from key provider workflows at your organization
- Provide resources and ample opportunities for providers to personalize the EHR to their unique and specialty workflows
- Communicate with your end-users frequently and through multiple channels to inform them and to show that their voices are being heard
I like to think of building a physician satisfaction program like building a house. First, you need to have a strong foundation made up of a well-designed, well-implemented, and continually optimized EHR. No EHR stands alone, and a complete set of associated technologies like voice, medication management, and single sign-on (SSO) need to be included. Second, the structure of the house should consist of training, governance, and personalization. And finally, the roof is composed of a good, well-balanced communication strategy.
Over the course of this series, I will be diving into each of the strategies that join together to build a rock-solid physician satisfaction program. Piece-by-piece, I will be sharing my unique experiences and perspectives, along with the latest EHR research findings, to help guide providers who are looking to reduce burnout and improve satisfaction.
Interested in learning how Medix Technology can supply the leadership, guidance and talent you need to accelerate the building of a successful and cost-effective physician satisfaction program at your organization? Click here to contact our team!
About the Author
Dr. Brian Patty joined Medix Technology as Chief Medical Informatics Officer in 2020. As one of the nation’s first CMIOs, he brings more than 40 years of medical and clinical informatics experience to the team. Dr. Patty partners with our clients at all stages of their Epic journey, from implementation to optimization. His areas of expertise include improving clinical workflows, simplifying EHR processes to improve end user satisfaction, reducing burnout and costly turnover, and maximizing technological investments.