Can Technology Relieve the Burden Put on Physicians?

Can Technology Relieve the Burden Put on Physicians?

dr_EHR / August 17, 2020

Overbooked schedules. Prioritization. Unexpected emergencies. Federal regulations. There are a multitude of demands placed upon physicians every day. However, with the addition of the COVID-19 pandemic, the concern around physician burnout has significantly increased.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “burnout is a special type of work-related stress – a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.” Physician burnout affects the healthcare system as a whole. It can negatively impact one’s practice from within. It can also possibly threaten patient safety and their satisfaction towards a practice and its physicians.

Although there is no one-stop solution, there are ways to optimize the workflow of a practice that can lighten the load of a physician and staff. Now more than ever due to the current pandemic, healthcare practices need to alter the way they conduct patient intake for the purpose of protecting the providers, staff, and patients.

4 Ways a Check-In Module Can Alleviate Physician Burnout

A robust check-in module can help minimize stress within the practice. For it to impact your practice positively, it needs to be fully integrated. If it’s not integrated, the check-in module will not streamline your workflow. It may add to it.

  1. Reduce Data Entry: A check-in module can decrease data entry on behalf of the provider and the front desk staff. Information flows through all points of the appointment, from the encounter note to claim creation. Since the patient is updating the information, it ensures the records within the EHR are accurate and up to date.
  2. Increase Patient Collections: Patients can pay a copayment through the check in module. Not only does it alleviate the strain of a growing and aging A/R, it helps minimize the contact between the patient and front desk staff.
  3. Support Office Workflow: Staff can recognize which patients have checked into their appointments, whether in-person or online. When integrated into the EHR and appointment schedule, it can help the staff keep tabs on patients coming in the office.
  4. Provide Contactless Experience: In times of COVID-19, limiting contact between staff and patients is especially important. Instead of the traditional intake of handing out a clipboard full of paperwork and a pen, the patient simply walks up to a kiosk to update their information. In some cases, a patient can use their own device. It provides an extra layer of protecting the physician and the staff.

What possible outcomes can you expect?

Since practices work together as a collective unit, less stress involving the staff can equate to less burnout of the physician. A physician’s time is best spent caring for his or her patients, which has positive outcomes such as success stories with treatments, frequent referrals and higher patient satisfaction. Front desk staff can focus on other tasks if a check in module is present. This leaves room to analyze other areas to improve within one’s practice. Furthermore, finding areas to improve on can help establish goals and milestones.

Physician burnout can take away from the overall goal of caring for patients efficiently and can impact the practice’s culture. Sometimes all it takes is a small step to make a positive change. A check-in module may not have all the answers to eliminate physician burnout, but it can augment workflow to make the day to day easier. Most importantly, making patients happy and satisfied with their provider.