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Combating Physician Burnout

The road to becoming a physician is long and arduous, filled with sleepless nights and years of dedication. Reaching the top of that summit should feel like an accomplishment, as it certainly is and should be treated as such. However, the current climate in healthcare can turn the start of a career, which should be joyous, into the start of a nightmare.

Specifically, the nightmare I reference is the increasing issue of physician burnout, likely linked to the complexity and time spent using EMRs. In fact, according to researchers at the University of New Mexico, over 40 percent of physician burnout can be directly linked to EMRs. In a world that needs smart and capable Doctors, can we really afford to burnout nearly half of them because of technology?

The primary mode of technology is to make life simpler, not more difficult. As Philip Kroth, MD, puts it, “We went to school to see patients, but now, for every minute we have with a patient, we are spending two additional minutes on the computer.” With constant clicking and scrolling, along with multi-faceted documentation, EMRs have increased the difficulty in a physician’s work rather than simplifying it. In an increasingly digital age, doctors are being left in the dust, left with applications that make their career more difficult than ever before.

Of course, technology being difficult to use doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t worth it. For instance, there is no doubt a new iPhone is far more difficult to use than a standard mid-2000s flip-phone. However, after taking time to learn the product and its functions, it can become a tool that adds tremendous value and efficiency. This same principle should stand true for EMRs, but in reality, Doctors consistently find difficulty without the added value. This makes learning how to use EMRs even more difficult, especially when there is little to no perceived pay-off.

The solution to this problem begins with a backwards approach. Instead of making Doctors fit into their EMRs, it’s time we made EMRs fit Doctor’s needs and goals. Instead of hours spent scrolling and clicking, EMRs should enable Doctors to spend more time with patients, and fewer time on their keyboards. With new voice-enabled EMRs and digital assistants, such as EHI’s aria, there is potential to reinvigorate Doctors and their

profession. Like any technology product, EMRs need to prove the time spent using them worth it, with preventable health trackers, custom analytics, and diagnosis suggestions that can actually make a Doctors job easier. To learn more about how EHI’s MDnet and viritual assistant aria can make your practice more efficient, please visit us at

If you liked this post, please check back for more to come! Thanks, and remember, EHIcares!


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