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Jerris Heaton

Addressing Physician Burnout via EHR Inboxes and Patient Message Management

August 13, 2020

Clinician, EHR 3 Minute Read

With technological advances, progress can be made. Often, this progress is greatly beneficial, but technology can sometimes do as much harm as good.

With Electronic Health Record (EHR) solutions making an impressive difference in the lives of physicians and their patients and enabling simpler and faster communication than ever, outcomes are beneficial – but burnout from this constant messaging can also affect providers.

However, with the proper tools, such as EHR inbox solutions, burnout can be managed.

Why Patients Message Physicians

EHR systems allow for the creation of a digital version of patient charts, allowing physicians to better review medical history by providing them with secure and instant access to patient data, as well as the ability to write prescriptions digitally and customize files with notes.

All of these benefits are greatly beneficial for both patients and physicians alike, especially EHR messaging functionalities that allow physicians to receive patient-pertinent messaging, such as test results and medication refills.

Physician Burnout, EHR Messaging,

The types of EHR messages a physician may receive can include patient portal advice requests and patient calls, test results, and chart co-sign requests, as well as many other types of messaging.

Researchers at an academic health system in Northeast Ohio studied data from the American Community Survey regarding EHR inboxes and found that patients with higher socioeconomic statuses typically send more EHR messages than patients associated with a lower socioeconomic status.

How Burnout Happens

Despite the very practical potential of EHR messaging, an overwhelming amount of messages can lead to burnout. A study published in JAMA Network Open found a direct correlation between EHR inbox usability and physician burnout, as well as workflow, efficiency, and safety.

Physicians with a large body of patients can end up devoting a lot of time to managing the EHR messaging process in order to ensure important messages aren’t overlooked. Spending ample time on the computer on top of interacting with patients in-person can be very time-consuming, adding extra time to already very busy work days.

Considering many physicians did not enter the field with the intention of interacting with computers for hours every day, this burnout is understandable.

A Solution for Managing Burnout

For many physicians, having the right tools can make all the difference in managing feelings relating to burnout.

EHR vendors can utilize well-designed EHR inboxes to help physicians streamline their messaging workflow and make the overall process easier and less taxing.

Physician Burnout, EHR Messaging,

When not designed properly, EHR inboxes can be a hindrance to the patient message management process. EHR inboxes with unnecessary interface elements can cause a slower workflow that frustrates physicians, as do inboxes without customization abilities.

To help increase patient safety while reducing physician burnout, ChartLogic has designed a clean EHR inbox interface that can simplify EHR messaging. This technology is one that benefits all parties.

The Chartlogic EHR Inbox solution allows physicians to streamline their time spent on EHR messaging and helps them reclaim time that they can devote to other areas of their professional and personal lives.

Learn more about Chartlogic’s EHR Inbox today.

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