How Providers Can Reduce Stress When Using EHR’s, PM’s, and Other Health IT Software

Electronic health records are revolutionizing how medical professionals maintain patient information and communicate with one another. However, recent research reveals that using EHRs is increasing stress among at least 70% of professionals in medical offices. These statistics can be avoided with careful planning and implementing the right software. Here are some tips to help you be stress free in your work environment while using health IT software.

Physician Stress

Stress-free physicians are happy and effective physicians, and that’s why it’s important to eliminate the headaches that some medical offices are experiencing in their Health IT record-keeping. Over two-thirds of physicians who use EHR technology during patient care delivery have reported at least some stress as a result of the demands of health IT use, according to a recent JAMIA study.[1] This emotional drain leads to doctor burnout, which can lead to exhaustion and professional dissatisfaction. All these symptoms can negatively impact every aspect of patient care, so reasonable solutions are important.

Identifying the Problems

All these stress points can be combated. It is important to utilize practice management and take careful consideration when choosing software. Researchers recommend that busy practices regularly measure their stress and look for opportunities to reduce it. They must also understand that one solution does not fit all. According to Dr. Rebekah Gardner, an associate professor of medicine at Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School, and lead author on the project, “Analyses should stratify by specialty, as we found substantial differences in the types of HIT-related stress experienced by doctors doing different types of work; the specific remedies for HIT-related stress may also vary by specialty.”[2] Once the stressors and patterns have been identified, the team can begin searching for remedies, such as utilizing medical scribes, close EHR-training, and streamlining EHR procedures.

“Analyses should stratify by specialty, as we found substantial differences in the types of HIT-related stress experienced by doctors doing different types of work; the specific remedies for HIT-related stress may also vary by specialty.”

Finding Solutions

The bottom line is: health IT should relieve stress, not create it. Paradoxically, as the study reveals, technology is both the potential problem and solution. Bridget Duffy, MD, Chief Medical officer at Vocera, argues, “Physicians who once were absorbed in speaking with and examining their patients found themselves spending more time clicking through screens and pecking away at a keyboard.” This frustration is related to the challenges of wrestling with software that might not be the best fit for that office. These technologies were created to make physicians more efficient—and happier. So, it’s crucial that offices are using the best software for its unique needs and utilizing it effectively. Eliminating EHR downtime and service interruptions is one way to make life easier for all medical practitioners that engage the technology on a regular basis, according to Scott Alldridge, CEO of the IT Process Institute. The goal is “easing the doctor’s overwhelming paper problem” and not replacing it with other headaches.[3]

ChartLogic: The Best Solution

ChartLogic can help ease these stresses not only through its products, but also with the exceptional service that helps your office transition into, and effectively utilize, EHR technology. ChartLogic offers an ambulatory EHR suite that includes Electronic Medical Records, Practice Management, and Billing Services. We deliver everything you need to accurately and efficiently manage administrative and financial tasks. Used by thousands of practices both large and small, ChartLogic PM is the most powerful practice management system on the market today.

Click here to learn more about ChartLogic’s dynamic suite of products.

[1] https://ehrintelligence.com/news/nearly-70-of-physicians-suffering-stress-related-to-health-it-use

[2] https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-12-stress-electronic-health-linked-physician.html

[3] https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/fighting-physician-burnout-how-tech-can-undo-damage-done-ehrs

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