Home » Blog Articles » EMRs » Do EMRs & EHRs Encourage Burnout Among Medical Staff?

Scrolling through an EMR or EHR’s screens, inputting data and clicking on multiple tabs are part of the modern workday for healthcare clinicians. But this activity may contribute to a feeling of burnout for healthcare providers.

Emotional Fatigue and Burnout:

Studies are exploring whether the constant demand to read and input information into EHRs can create an excessive amount of fatigue for providers. Evidence is starting to suggest that EMRs & EHRs which require intensive clicking and scrolling may create, over a period of time, more feelings of fatigue and burnout.

Research and reports from healthcare professionals is finding that a provider’s interaction with these electronic interfaces creates a higher level of stress. This creates a double impact in the delivery of healthcare. In the long-run, the emotional fatigue that providers feel can actually damage their personal health. At the same time, if there is more fatigue, the quality of patient care will likely diminish. Actions such as the number of screen visits and clicks will likely make it longer for providers to complete their tasks.

Other studies that explored the nursing profession have also suggested that EHRs can contribute to provider burnout. In one study, nurses stated that entering data into electronic health records and PMs contributed, to sizable degree, an inability to deliver quality health care. The major criticisms included feelings that EMR and similar tools negatively impacted efficiency or hampered the ability to provide quality medical care. Other criticisms focused on limited training on how to properly use these systems.

It should be noted that in the same study, the primary reason for nurses reporting burnout (emotional exhaustion) was due to dysfunctional and chaotic work environments.

Shortages and Back Office Issues:

These reports on provider burnout are not welcoming news. There is already a shortage of healthcare professionals, such as nurse practitioners, in the United States. A fact that makes hearing the news about clinician burnout even more distressing.

According to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), projected demand for nurses is faster than average for all other occupations. The increasing demand for nurses and other healthcare providers is needed as the population of the United States grows older and experiences more chronic health conditions. The impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. healthcare system will likely increase the demand for nurses and other related healthcare services.

For example, in some parts of the country there is also a shortage of mental health professionals. This includes physician assistants (PAs), nurse practitioners (NPs) and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who possess a behavioral health specialization. Part of the demand for these mental health providers derives from the opioid epidemic that has swept across the nation.

For example, in Ohio, Community behavioral health centers are providing much-needed treatment services. But, there is still additional unmet demand for behavioral & mental health services which has created emotional and financial stress in many communities.

Beyond the larger issue of healthcare provider burnout, improper EHRs and EMRs use can create problems for medical back offices. Carefully logged patient encounter notes are used to generate data for superbills and/or UB-04 forms.

If the clinician is fatigued and entering notes and codes that are not correct or specific enough for that patient encounter, billing and other revenue cycle problems could start to occur. Careless errors can generate denied claims from insurance payers and if not quickly addressed, start to create cash flow issues for practices.

It is challenging enough for medical providers to stay current with regulatory updates, payment models and new IT technologies.

About Us:

ABCS RCM provides experienced and friendly healthcare-focused revenue cycle management services. They help practices, agencies and clinics overcome billing obstacles and have the ability to work with a variety of billing, PM and EHR systems.

Their billing and credentialing specialist collaborate with clinicians and integrate with their EHRs and PM systems. This creates a partnership with personalized service, clear communication and transparency. ABCS provides a customized service that is flexible & effective.

Contact them for more information. Call 614-890-9822 or email them.

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