No one would deny that physician burnout is becoming a prominent issue in healthcare.
Many blame healthcare IT systems for this rising trend. In a recent study from the Mayo Clinic that polled physicians who say they are burned out, EHRs were listed as one of the top reasons. The words "not usable" get thrown around a lot when it comes to how physicians describe their EHRs and the lack of usable health IT systems has frustrated physicians to no end. Naturally, burnout derived from a lack of intuitive IT systems can have a negative impact on patient care and safety.
At this year's Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference, held in Orlando at the Orange County Convention Center, Rasu Shrestha, a radiologist and the chief innovation officer at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), will host a session that tackles this issue. The session, "Demanding a Delightful Care Team" will cover how the lack of usability — in IT and clinician work flow — are burning out physicians and affecting patient safety. It will also look at how organizations can create care team-centered user experiences.
Shrestha, who will be joined in the session by Santosh Mohan, digital solution management fellow at Stanford Healthcare, spoke to Physicians Practice about this session, scheduled for Monday, February, 20 at 12 p.m. Esatern. Below are excerpts from this interview.
Q. Describe the impact physician fatigue and burnout can have on patient safety?
If you look at where we are as a healthcare industry today, we're data rich and information poor. We've managed to move in the last decade from a culture of analog, paper, and film to one that's digital, paperless, and filmless. While that's been fairly positive when it comes to rolling out clinical information systems, the reality on the ground is that tech has been less of an enabler and more of an impediment. Consequently that has led to burnout. Clinical burnout is a really big issue today.
It's a big challenge in the industry. We've been in a rush to embrace the digital form factor. That's been fine to get the go-live up and running. Getting to go-live in a clinical information system is not the end goal. ….The end goal is better care experiences and better outcomes. That's still an aspirational goal unfortunately. [My HIMSS17 Session] is more of a discussion on the role of user experience and design thinking in really reinventing the future of work flow and care team experiences.