Leadership
Clip
Reducing the Burnout Effect of EHRs (03:34)

The electronic health record is a source of burnout among U.S. physicians. Data have shown that the more EHR functions that are turned on, the higher the rates of burnout and the intent of physicians to leave practice, according to Christine Sinsky, Vice President of Professional Satisfaction at the American Medical Association. “I think, though, that we can create an environment where there’s an incentive for our vendors to create delightful products,” says Sinsky. “If we develop that kind of product, if we can measure and report on the usability of different EHR products, we will probably start to change that environment.”

“It’s a challenge,” adds Tait Shanafelt, Director of the Mayo Clinic Department Program on Physician Well-Being. “There are many good qualities about the EHR. The question is addressing some of those unintended ways in which it’s increased clerical burden.” According to data from AMA and Mayo Clinic, computerized order entry is the electronic function driving burnout the most. One way to resolve this is to have other team members put in the orders, and then the physician can review and sign them. “I think that type of data helps us identify ways to mitigate the downsides of the EHR while preserving some of its virtues,” says Shanafelt.

Sinsky, who spent a week in the UK shadowing general practitioners and interviewing employees of the National Health Service, noticed that “the GPs really do like their EHRs. And as I watched them use them it was very, very different than my own use of the electronic health record.” The EHRs she saw were designed with GP input, and the GPs did not use the tools for billing. “Their notes were very short. They didn’t have the 8-page notes for sore throat that we have,” explains Sinsky. “So there were a combination of things, but it was used in a much lighter fashion than what we’re experiencing here.”

From the NEJM Catalyst event Leadership: Translating Challenge to Success at Mayo Clinic, June 2, 2016.

More From Leadership
Screenshot from the NewYork Quality Care Chronic Condition Dashboard

Success in a Hospital-Integrated Accountable Care Organization

How NewYork Quality Care achieved shared savings — by strengthening collaboration, enhancing care management with telehealth, and transparently sharing performance data.

Miller03_pullquote social determinants whole-person

How a State Advances Whole-Person Health Care

Pennsylvania addresses social determinants of health by bringing together managed care and social services organizations to expand access to vital resources.

Abigail Geisinger Scholars Program for Medical Students -Ryu02_pullquote

Why a Teaching Hospital Offers an Employment-Based Tuition Waiver Program

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine subsidizes medical students’ education in exchange for their willingness to practice at Geisinger Health System.

Michael Dowling and Charles Kenney headshots

Rebooting Health Care: An Optimistic Outlook

The U.S. health care system may seem broken, but it’s on its way to greatness, according to the authors of Health Care Reboot. They discuss their optimism for U.S. health care reform, particularly on the social determinants of health, payment, consumerism, and technology.

Action Steps for Risk-Share Contracts for Medical Devices

Challenges and Best Practices for Health Systems to Consider When Implementing Risk-Share Contracts for Medical Devices

When done right, value-based contracting for medical devices can ameliorate shrinking margins at health systems, leading to a virtuous circle.

Health Care Organizational Culture Emphasizes Patient Care Only Slightly More Than the Bottom Line

Survey Snapshot: Who Should Lead Culture Change?

NEJM Catalyst Insights Council members feel that culture change at their organizations is heading in the right direction, but differ on who it should come from, and reveal too much balance between emphasis on bottom line and emphasis on patient care.

Culture Change Within Health Care Organizations Is Changing for the Better

Leadership Survey: Organizational Culture Is the Key to Better Health Care

Although three-quarters of Insights Council survey respondents say culture change is a high or moderate priority at their organizations, survey results show a lot of work on organizational culture remains to be done.

Metraux01_pullquote - dinners to combat burnout in the health care community

“Breaking Bread” to Combat Burnout

Can a simple dinner create community among health care providers?

IHI HPMS Visual Management Board Example

The Answer to Culture Change: Everyday Management Tactics

Adoption of a clear rhythm-of-performance measurement and communication via huddles and visual management can affect a culture of staff engagement and continuous value improvement.

ajor Themes from Cleveland Clinic Town Halls 2016

Reigniting the Passion to Practice Through a Multi-Pronged Approach

Cleveland Clinic formed the Practice Innovation and Professional Fulfillment Office to create and sustain an environment that allows clinicians and scientists to thrive through barrier removal, culture change, and support for personal well-being.

Connect

A weekly email newsletter featuring the latest actionable ideas and practical innovations from NEJM Catalyst.

Learn More »

Topics

Leading Transformation

273 Articles

How WeChat Helps Generate Patients’ Trust

It doesn’t matter if you are American or Chinese. Everyone wants good health care. The…

Leading Teams

166 Articles

Why a Teaching Hospital Offers an…

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine subsidizes medical students’ education in exchange for their willingness to…

Physician Burnout

48 Articles

Building Confidence and Trust in Primary…

Primary care providers can create amazing systems that tackle incredible health care problems, but if…

Insights Council

Have a voice. Join other health care leaders effecting change, shaping tomorrow.

Apply Now