Physician burnout is not a new issue facing care providers, executives — CEOs, COOs, and CMOs alike — and healthcare organizations. But a different type of job demand is emerging adding another barrier to providing patient care. That is additional paperwork or documentation for meeting demands of regulatory compliance, including value-based reimbursement and hierarchical condition categories (HCC) to name a few. The ratio of demands to providers is increasingly tipping over and providers are experiencing continuous and rising dissatisfaction with EHRs and their workplace.
If Technology Worked the Way It’s Supposed To
While a new HCIS system — whether it’s a technology that helps automate the revenue cycle or a new module for streamlining documentation — is meant to be better, make work life easier, and meet the needs of facilities and clinicians, it hasn’t always appeared to achieve the outcomes it promises.
In working with our customers, we’ve taken a deeper look at why clinician and physician burnout continues and why the expected results of new technologies are not realized. We know EHRs and technologies are here to stay and regulatory oversight is not going to decrease in complexity. So, to think we can alter the workload of that anytime soon would lack foresight. But what we have found is a way to provide some relief to physicians and clinicians when it comes to system design and workflow management.
When systems are designed right, it’s inherent that clinical workflows were understood, documented, and validated in detail. When clinical workflows are thoroughly understood and documented, rework is avoided during implementation and optimization, documentation is crisp and efficient, and at least some of the EHR dissatisfaction is reduced.
The Gold of Comprehensive Workflow Design
Clinical workflows are a magnanimous effort to navigate and take a lot of time and effort to do right. Often times, we see project teams cut corners or fail to complete them in a comprehensive, well-planned way. Redesign and rework can cripple a project causing the timeline to be extended or, worse, the entire project to be scrapped. Validating the workflow ahead of its implementation and looking for ways to streamline and improve it for its future state increases the likelihood that end users will realize the benefits they expected to see and that they were tacitly promised.
And what that translates to is less physician burnout, increased physician satisfaction, patient customer satisfaction, less time wasted, more efficiencies, and relevant documentation removing extraneous and duplicative efforts.
Remodeling Workflow Design with Clinicians at the Source
Likewise, “involving” the clinicians and end users at some point along the technology implementation and adoption journey is no longer an accepted norm. Not if you want a well-built system that actually delivers its promise. Clinicians and end users have to be the source of the design, not just an informed party or a loose participant in the process. An implementation or optimization project is only successful if clinicians can do their work more efficiently and provide better patient care using it, without the hassle of redundant and inaccurate workflow integration. These benefits are the true measures of success. It’s not an “us” versus “them” model. Leadership and clinicians have to work together, collaboratively, from start to finish.
So, how do you get started? Contact us to find out how Jacobus Consulting can help you decrease clinician and physician burnout through improved workflow design for both present and future state.