The Seemingly Inverse Relationship with Health IT and Physician Joy of Medicine Can Be Reversed | Geneia

The Seemingly Inverse Relationship with Health IT and Physician Joy of Medicine Can Be Reversed

October 07, 2015
Heather Lavoie, Chief Strategy Officer, Geneia

Seemingly, there is an inverse relationship with health IT spending and physician job satisfaction.  At Geneia, we believe it can be different, and are working hard to restore physicians’ Joy of Medicine.  

Building upon the momentum created by the Geneia Joy of Medicine Challenge, we are holding monthly #JoyofMedicine Twitter Chats with physicians and others who are also committed to bringing back the Joy of Medicine.  Equally important, we’re specifically designing our health technology products to target and remedy physician pain points and then actively measuring the effect they are having on physician and clinicians using them.

We have all heard that physicians don’t like electronic health records (EHRs), but some recent surveys confirmed the extent of the dissatisfaction.  An August survey by the American Medical Association and AmericanEHR Partners found that physician satisfaction with EHRs has fallen to 34 percent.  

Why? Physicians cite decreased efficiency, overwhelming workloads, and unsustainable operating costs.  Some physicians report that they spend an extra 48 minutes each day on reporting due to EHRs.  Now is this the fault of the EHR – or a failure to consider the human side of implementation, redesign faulty existing work processes, or effectively harness the potential of data and analytics to reduce manual work?

Ironically, EHR satisfaction is falling at the same time health IT spending is on the rise.  The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) recently showed that spending on health IT infrastructure has increased by more than 33 percent since 2010 and multi-specialty practices are spending approximately $20,000 per physician per year on EHR technologies, an 11 percent increase since 2013.

So more money being spent on health IT, more physicians using EHRs, and we are witnessing record low dissatisfaction levels.  At Geneia, we believe it doesn’t have to be this way.

In a Geneia survey of more than 400 physicians practicing medicine full time, we examined physician sentiment towards technology.  In honor of HIMSS National Health IT Week, we are revealing these findings, which we firmly believe point to opportunities for technology to help reverse physician dissatisfaction and restore the Joy of Medicine.

When asked their impression of the impact data and analytics tools have on the practice of medicine, 
  • 69% of physicians felt they positively impacted their ability to efficiently assess patient history and needs, 
  • 63% said they help them get value and improved outcomes from chart documentation, and 
  • Nearly 60% felt they helped identify and triage the highest need patients and created greater efficiencies in office workflow.
When asked to identify the number one way data and analytics could improve their job, the most popular answer was to reduce the time spent on recordkeeping (41%) followed by more time with every patient (22%), better access to patients’ complete medical profile and history (20%), and more time with the patients who require enhanced care (14%).  

At Geneia, we believe that putting insights into the hands of the full administrative and clinical team can help to eliminate redundancies, lift the team from the bottom of their licenses to the top, and make their work far more effective and efficient.  Although we as an industry have architected ourselves into this hole of dissatisfaction, we know that by focusing on the human elements of care, reconnecting the physician with the patient, and viewing technology as a means to an end and not the solution itself, we can reverse the trend.  We see the potential in new wireless and remote monitoring technologies and in predictive analytics – to automate what is now manual data capture methods and bring patient data into the clinical record, to give insight, a complete patient view, and drive human connection.

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