Clinicians and caregivers want to do the right thing for their patients; they truly care and want to provide the right treatment while also being aware of the powerful benefits that come from empathetic human connections. Indeed, one of the reasons that clinicians give for entering their profession, and their greatest source of professional satisfaction, is the clinician-patient relationship.

Interestingly, it is not only clinicians who are experiencing burnout. Patients and their caregivers, as well as the executives running healthcare providers, also report similar frustrations. Healthcare IT News on behalf of HIMSS has produced a special report into burnout in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. It spans all the stakeholders in health, including nurses, doctors, CIOs, telehealth managers, and more.

The bulk of the stressors contributing to burnout come from the pressure to ‘do more with less’ while constantly running into obstacles, including technology that is difficult to use and bureaucracy that doesn’t seem to contribute to helping the care of patients.

Electronic health record usability and comprehensiveness

Poor EHR usability is very high on the list of factors contributing to clinician burnout. Having to process too much information, much of it redundant, having to perform far too many mouse clicks, and receiving too many intrusive alerts to complete basic tasks leaves clinicians feeling dominated by their EHR and subjugated to its endless demands. Another key issue is the general lack of support for integration and collaborative care provided by siloed EHR systems.

Clinicians need easy access to the right data to make decisions at the individual clinical level and, frequently, at the level of the population they are responsible for. Population-level decision-making is especially important to providers working in value-based care models, which prioritise achievement of quality measures.

Health information exchanges (HIEs) add significant value to clinical care and population management by providing complete data about the patients and the populations they are part of. For the individual patient, they provide more complete information in an easy-to-use format; for a population, they provide more accurate quality measures, again, because the data is drawn from more complete data on every patient.

Patients, providers, and their caregivers also suffer frustration and burnout from the difficulty inherent in navigating through a complex, fragmented healthcare system. The solution to that problem includes technology designed to improve the coordination of care founded on a comprehensive HIE.

A seamless transition between population-level care and individual care

A crucial feature of an ideal technology solution to help is the ability to take clinicians seamlessly from a quality measure or, indeed, any population-level analytic measure, to a shared worklist for a clinical team to manage, to the specific care for each individual patient. The data must be both individually identifiable and privacy controlled at every point along the way.

This approach enables the clinical team by delivering the right care to the right patients, at the right time and in the right place. By making ‘the right thing the easy thing to do’ in this way, the software solution reduces the load on clinicians, and creates some precious time to give patients the genuine empathy they need.

Interested in learning how Orion Health can help to tackle the increasing problem of clinician burnout?