As the Chief Medical Officer of Privia, a 1600-provider medical group, I’m always striving to combat burnout by staying abreast of the tools, knowledge, and resources physicians need to help improve efficiency, deliver feedback and reduce administrative burdens.
You may have heard of the Triple Aim, a concept developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. It includes enhancing the patient experience, improving population health and reducing health costs. Although this model is widely accepted as a way to improve performance, it fails to address the wellbeing of you, the provider, in your critical role. Physicians and other members of healthcare teams continually report widespread burnout and dissatisfaction, which in turn has been associated with lower satisfaction rates and reduced health outcomes for their patients. In order to provide the highest quality care, maintaining engagement and enthusiasm as a provider is key to your continued success. There are two developments that I’m particularly intrigued by, as they make the process of receiving healthcare easier and more convenient for patients, but were also developed with the comfort of providers in mind.
Telehealth is the vanguard of healthcare, as it allows providers to utilize virtual medical services and technology for remote, long-distance care and education so their patients are less likely slip through the cracks of care. Providers who have access to the use of videoconferencing, the internet, store and forward imaging, streaming media and wireless communications, have a leg up in their communications with their patients and can more easily achieve their own population health aims.
A subset of telehealth is the use of virtual scribes, medically trained individuals who can perform data entry and chart patient visits in real time, taking the burden of documentation off of the physician. As provider and patient interact, a trained scribe can be connected throughout the visit, recording notes and medical health records. The options for how providers can make use of scribes are endless; some can simply be used to update or enhance the provider’s documentation, or be employed take all of the provider’s notes. Scribes have the potential to improve the quality of documentation and add much needed time back to a busy provider’s day.
Both of these exciting developments in healthcare allow physicians to put their focus back on the patient, the nexus of the healthcare apparatus. What are some healthcare developments you’re excited to see come to fruition? Let me know in the comments below.