EHR Burdens Lessened With Clinical Collaboration

Background – EHR Administrative Burdens

Clinicians spend excessive time on EHR-related tasks, equating to more than half of their work-hours (1). This leads to less time collaborating with other healthcare professionals and less time treating patients. A study analyzed different EHR inboxes and found that more than half of the messages were for medical issues and 34.1% were related to administrative tasks (1). Out of those messages, 17.6% were scheduling-related, 13.2% were concerning condition management, 13.6% were general diagnosis issues, 9.7% were questions on paperwork, and 6.7% were dealing with symptom questions (1). Physicians are receiving a concerning amount of data, which can impact their wellness and the overall burden they feel. Medical staff can help with documentation and administrative tasks to lessen the burden. However, the current EHR workflow is ineffective and worsens the clinician burden due to the lack of optimization for effective collaboration.

Figure 1: Common EHR Inbox Messages [1]

Solution – Integrated EHR Inbox

A solution is an EHR system that detects work themes in the inbox and can direct messages to different departments. For instance, doctors don’t need to handle simpler tasks like scheduling that are more administrative-related. They also don’t have to figure out where to send the messages such as lab results or updates on medication. The EHR system can detect where the messages should go by splitting them into different work themes and forwarding them to the correct department (1). This will help physicians spend less time on documentation and more time on advanced tasks that require their attention. Overall, physicians will feel less burdened when an EHR system with text analysis forwards their inboxes to different departments and staff members can collaborate with them. This will also prevent medical errors that are typically caused due to miscommunication reasons.  

Conclusion

Clinicians spend more time than they should on administrative tasks and simple issues like scheduling concerns and paperwork questions. This leads to burden and preventable medical errors due to the lack of time left to see patients and other healthcare professionals. Current EHR systems are ineffective at distributing the messages to different departments. However, if EHR inboxes had text analysis that detects where to deliver messages, then staff members could lessen the burden. This will allow clinicians to focus on more pressing matters and will help deliver information to the right place faster.

References

  1. https://ehrintelligence.com/news/how-analytics-can-inform-ehr-workflow-optimization-clinician-burden