Is Technology the Solution to Physician Burnout?

Technology and Physician Burnout

Is technology the solution for physician burnout? Is the standard EHR our savior? At Eva Health we believe physicians need more than an EHR. In this article, we will explore this question by diving into the history of EHRs and their relationship to physician burnout.

The start of EHRs

In the 1960s the Mayo Clinic of Rochester Minnesota was one the first major health systems to adopt an electronic health record system (EHR). At that time EHRs were only accessible to large health organizations in partnership with the government largely due to costs. These systems were so expensive that very few clinicians had access to them. EHRs at this time were primarily used for billing and scheduling purposes only. 

Medical Documentation Evolution

It was also in the 1960s that medical documentation on paper began to evolve and doctors started recording patient’s history, family history and problems. This was considered a problem-orientated approach to medical documentation and a revolutionary approach because doctors had previously only recorded a patient’s diagnosis and treatment. This evolution resulted in the doctors ability to capture the patients health story and provided a more effective means of understanding whole-system care. How? Simple, more patient information equals more pattern recognition to utilize for treatment plan development. This problem-oriented approach also helped facilitate the creation of preventive care and health maintenance treatment plans. 

Technology in Medical Offices

It wasn’t until the 1990s that computers began to enter medical offices, mostly used for limited record-keeping and scheduling. Academic medical facilities primarily continued to use the electronic health record. With the rapid growth of technological innovation, primarily the introduction of the internet, the world of documentation and communication changed. This change paved the way for the development of accessible electronic health records software. 

This accessible technology presented a solution to the inefficiencies of the U.S. healthcare system. EHRs were hailed as the answer to record keeping, insurance billing, regulation compliance, patient communication. They were presented as THE ultimate solution that would allow doctors to spend more time with the patient and less time on paperwork. Unfortunately, over two decades later EHRs have failed to provide a solution. Concurrently, with the wrong focus, they’ve become a major element in worsening the problems and fueling provider burnout. Why? Is it because the technology itself is the problem? Or is it because the problems that existed before the technology (inefficient and poorly designed healthcare system) remain? Why does the EMRs design focus around a confusing, ineffective, and poorly executed healthcare system that is not made for provider or patient outcomes? We at Eva Health decided to do things differently. 

Physician Burnout Solution

We believe the solution to physician burnout is simple. Empowering the independent cash medical provider to invest in better technology and to make smarter choices all centered around patient outcomes is the best redirect. Eva is the software solution for medical providers willing to step outside of an inefficient care system and into a self-sustaining independently driven patient care model. Stop investing in technology that mirrors its design around an ineffective healthcare model that is simultaneously overwhelming and underperforming. Instead, explore another path with new technologies that are beautifully designed around functions that put patient outcomes and provider well-being at the forefront of development. 

To learn more about the cash-based model for independent medical practices check out the Cash Practice Blog Article and Cash Medical Practice Podcast.


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