America’s physicians are facing unprecedented levels of burnout, fatigue, and exhaustion according to a new study by the American Medical Association (AMA), published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings. About 68 percent of today’s doctors reported signs of burnout—a stark increase from 2020’s findings of about 38 percent.
“While the worst days of Covid-19 pandemic are hopefully behind us, there is an urgent need to attend to physicians who put everything into our nation’s response to Covid-19, too often at the expense of their own well-being,” said AMA President Jack Resneck Jr., M.D. These findings, Resneck continued, demand action that centers on supporting clinicians, removing obstacles, and prioritizing well-being.
Occupational burnout among doctors is higher relative to the rest of the U.S. workforce. Couple that with the demands of the pandemic, and today’s physicians who report feelings of burnout also tend to exhibit cynicism, disillusionment, and even career disengagement.
“America’s doctors are a precious, and irreplaceable, resource,” said Dr. Gerald E. Harmon, past president of AMA, in June. “Physician shortages, already projected to be severe before Covid-19, have almost become a public health emergency,” he added.
Administrative burden and rates of burnout
For many clinicians across the U.S., daily challenges related to administrative tasks and burdens contribute to feelings of overwhelm. In fact, one 2019 study also published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings confirmed the correlation between burnout and EHR usability. “The usability of current EHR systems received a grade of F by physician users when evaluated using a standardized metric of technology usability,” read the report. “A strong dose-response relationship between EHR usability and the odds of burnout was observed.”
Additionally, recent research published in JAMA Internal Medicine showed just how long U.S. physicians spend inputting information into an EHR—on average, 1.84 hours a day completing documentation outside of work hours. Thirty-three percent of physicians spend two hours or more completing documentation outside work hours daily, while 58 percent of clinicians agree the time they spend on documentation “isn’t appropriate.”
Fifty-seven percent of doctors also say the time they spend on completing administrative tasks takes away from the time they spend with patients, limiting their ability to practice at the top of their license.
At Bright.md, we’re passionate about our ability to deliver clinical decision support that betters the care experience for patients and providers—giving clinicians, specifically, support and relief from unnecessary administrative tasks. By automating charting and integrating into existing workflows—including EHRs, prescription fulfillment tools, and billing—we’re able to give doctors back their time, helping to alleviate feelings of stress and overwhelm.
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Your doctors and the power of clinical decision support
Clinical decision support is particularly crucial for today’s virtual care platforms, since many solutions in the market have instead added to providers’ inefficiencies. Unlike other telehealth platforms, Bright.md includes clinical decision support and content for all conditions we help treat, which make up more than 50 percent of all primary and urgent care visits. With more than 130 diagnoses, our content is evidence-based and updated regularly based on the latest clinical guidelines. And because we have been building and refining our clinical content for more than eight years, our clinical content engine can’t be replicated.
Although clinical decision support can sometimes hold a negative connotation, today’s health systems can’t afford to not employ technology that bolsters their clinicians’ ability and wellbeing—while enabling them to better practice at the top of their license. How can clinical decision support directly address today’s epidemic of clinician burnout? We broke down just a few ways a solution like Bright.md can improve healthcare delivery, for your patients and your providers:
- Less administrative burden on providers. Once a patient completes an asynchronous clinical interview, Bright.md generates a chart note that integrates directly into an EHR and includes all information needed for clinical decision-making. Clinicians receive a history of present illness report, along with a most-likely diagnosis. Once the provider chooses the diagnosis and treatment plan, they sign the chart note and care is delivered—no further documentation or follow-up is required.
- Built in consistency. Bright.md’s clinical content has been honed and vetted over eight years and is used to provide quality care to hundreds of thousands of patients. The solution gathers just as comprehensive patient history as what’s gathered in direct patient-provider interactions. This is done through Bright.md’s clinical interviews that are evidence-based and dynamically changing.
- Guaranteed clinical adherence. The resources used to create and regularly update Bright.md’s content include clinical practice guidelines from professional medical societies, validated screening tools, proven clinical decision rules, recommendations from organizations like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and online medical compendiums like UpToDate.
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