Too many EHR-generated messages contributing to physician burnout: study
Fierce Healthcare | July 02, 2019
There are ongoing concerns about physician workloads and time spent doing "desktop medicine," such as documenting in electronic health records and sorting through emails. It turns out, most physicians' EHR inboxes are clogged up with system-generated messages—rather than messages from patients or colleagues—a problem linked to greater job dissatisfaction and burnout, according to a new study published in Health Affairs. Almost half of all weekly in-basket messages came from EHR algorithms, such as emails generated by population health management algorithms that remind physicians to order certain tests, the study found. And physicians that receive an above-average number of these messages also tend to have more burnout symptoms and expressed an intention to reduce their clinical work hours. There have been numerous studies that show the increasing amount of time physicians spend working in the EHR or doing administrative tasks. Primary care physicians spend more than half of their workday interacting with electronic health records, spending almost six hours on EHRs, both during and after clinic hours, according to a study by the American Medical Association published in 2017.