Electronic health records (EHRs) have transformed healthcare by making medical records more accessible and streamlined, reducing errors, and providing a wealth of data for clinical decision-making. However, burnout and fatigue are real concerns with most electronic systems, including those found in medical clinics. Conversations about reducing screen time are widespread, and electronic health record fatigue is a common issue healthcare providers face, having a potentially negative impact on patient care.
In this blog, we’ll explore the problem of EHR fatigue and discuss how it can be effectively addressed using a comprehensive EHR software solution.
What is EHR Fatigue?
EHR fatigue is a type of burnout that occurs when healthcare professionals feel overwhelmed by using EHRs. Providers may feel like they spend more time clicking through screens than interacting with patients, leading to frustration and stress.
Physicians and healthcare providers often face EHR fatigue, a state of exhaustion that can lead to mistakes in patient care, resulting in medical errors and decreased patient satisfaction. When experiencing EHR fatigue, these providers become much more likely to make errors in their documentation, prescribing medication, and coordinating care for their patients.
One small-scale, cross-sectional study of 25 physicians completing 4 simulated cases of intensive care unit patients in EHR found that all the physicians experienced fatigued, and 80% experienced fatigue within the first 22 minutes of using EHR. This fatigue was associated with less efficient use of the EHR platform, meaning more clicks, more screens, and more time on the subsequent patient case.
EHR fatigue isn’t limited to just medical professionals – clinic managers and other administrative staff can also suffer from the strain of so-called click fatigue.
The root cause of EHR fatigue is often poor software design. Unintegrated or clunky EHRs require excessive clicks and have poor navigation leading to EHR fatigue. Poorly designed software can be an incredible hindrance for healthcare providers, causing them to spend more precious time documenting and less time engaging with patients. This can lead to burnout and decreased quality of care provided.
How Can EHR Fatigue be Resolved?
The solution to EHR fatigue is good EHR software designed to be user-friendly and efficient. EHR software should be intuitive and easy to navigate, allowing providers to quickly and easily find the needed information.
A reliable and effective electronic health record software should also possess features such as integrated billing and scheduling capabilities, which can drastically reduce the amount of time healthcare providers have to spend on tedious administrative tasks. The added convenience provided by these features is invaluable as they enable healthcare professionals to spend more time attending to their patient’s needs instead of worrying about paperwork.
One example of excellent EHR software is Amazing Charts. Amazing Charts is designed by a physician to be user-friendly and efficient. The cutting-edge software includes features like integrated billing and scheduling, charting, e-prescribing features, a patient portal for increased patient engagement, templates for notes, reporting tools, and easy-to-access maintenance and support from US-based agents.
Furthermore, the software is designed to be easy to use with intuitive navigation and customizability. It allows users to tweak the templates according to their specific needs, including for different clinical requirements across various practice types.
What Makes Some EHRs Difficult to Use?
Many EHR software solutions can be clunky and difficult to navigate, often requiring additional add-ons to fulfill specific needs like billing and scheduling. This can lead to confusion and frustration for medical practitioners already pressed for time.
However, more robust EHR software with integrated features and capabilities provides a more streamlined and efficient solution. By having these functions built directly into the software, medical professionals can easily manage patient records, prescribe medications, share important information with patients or other practitioners, schedule appointments, and process billing from one central location. This saves time, reduces the risk of errors, and ensures a more accurate and efficient care process.
Amazing Charts’ EHR software is quick and ready to use when installed, so providers do not have to spend time customizing the software or entering data. The software is also designed to be flexible, so providers can customize it to meet their specific needs. With Amazing Charts, providers can spend less time clicking through screens and more time interacting with patients.
In addition to using good EHR software, healthcare providers can take other steps to reduce EHR fatigue. Providers can schedule regular breaks during the day to step away from the computer screen and engage in other activities such as physical exercise, meditation, or creative pursuits. They can also practice mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing, visualization, or progressive muscle relaxation to reduce stress and increase focus. These techniques can help providers reduce burnout, improve patient care outcomes, and enable them to be more productive and creative in their professional lives.
A serious problem identified in recent years is the phenomenon known as EHR fatigue among healthcare providers. This issue can have a direct negative effect on patient care if not addressed.
EHR fatigue is often caused by inefficient or poorly designed software that leads providers to spend excessive time on documentation, leaving them with less time to interact with their patients. The solution to EHR fatigue is good EHR software designed to be user-friendly and efficient. Amazing Charts is one example of comprehensive EHR software with features designed to ease a physician’s workload, and it is ready to use upon installation.
By using good EHR software and reducing stress and burnout, providers can improve patient care by offering more efficient, accurate, and secure data sharing while reducing the negative impact of EHR fatigue on their workflow.
Contact Amazing Charts or book a consultation to learn how Electronic Health Records (EHRs) can benefit your medical practice by enhancing security, optimizing operations, facilitating data management while ensuring the accuracy and security of records, improving patient experience, and, perhaps most significantly, reducing EHR fatigue and burnout.