The Rundown | Week of 4.16.2018

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Doctor or Psychic?

With the help of algorithms and years of experience, physicians are now able to reach out to patients, make informed predictions, and take preemptive measures. The algorithms factor in all of a patient’s health conditions and to predict future ailments. This capability enables physicians to respond proactively to problems and ensure the good health of their patients. The technology is even able to find connections between seemingly unrelated conditions that, in the past, doctors may have missed. For example, the algorithms insisted that eye diseases were a strong predictor of osteoporotic bone fracture. It seemed like a glitch, but was actually an insight that would otherwise have been overlooked (no pun intended).
>> Read more: The Doctor Will See Your Future Now

Physician Shortage in Rural Healthcare

A new report on rural healthcare in Nebraska looks at physician shortage, alternative, and ways to address the ongoing shortage. According to the report, despite an 11 percent increase in the number of physicians in the state, there are still 13 counties that do not have a primary care physician. Most physicians in rural healthcare are more than likely to retire in the near future. Numerous counties do not have a pharmacist. This shortage is uniform in other rural areas as well. There are programs in place to increase the number of physicians in rural health, but many problematic recruiting issues remain.
>> Read more: A Rural Healthcare REport Examines Physician Shortage Issues in Nebraska

Practices want more advanced EHRs

A new report by Black Book Research indicates that, of nearly 19,000 EHR users,  30 percent of practices with over 12 doctors are expecting to replace their current EHR system in the near future. Doctors are looking for more advanced, integrated, and customizable systems that include revenue cycle management and practice management. According to the report the majority of doctors want mobile tools that can give on-demand visibility into data, compliance tracking and quality goals, and financial performance. The report also found that providers of smaller practices still find interoperability an issue with EHRs. They are not utilizing the advanced features. Managing Partner of Black Book Doug Brown says, “Traditionally, it has been the smaller and solo practices with the highest dissatisfaction ratings for electronic health record applications, but we confirmed also that the smaller the practice, the less likely they are to use advanced IT tools and that is where EHR frustration among small practices is generally focused.”
>> Read more: 30 percent of physician practices to replace their EHR within 3 years, Black Book says

Patients Are Affected by Physician Burnout As Well

It is no surprise that being a doctor is a tough job. In addition to providing top-notch care, doctors are also expected to bear the burden of documentation for their patients. There is consistent pressure to see more patients and to be more accessible. These stressors are leading to physician burnout.
Research shows that higher rates of physician burnout are directly correlated with patient dissatisfaction. Dr. Robert Wachter, who is the chair of the department of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, says, “There seems to be a pretty good correlation between physician burnout and the patient’s overall experience,” and, “It’s difficult for a burned-out physician to provide the kind of empathic care that patients need and deserve.
>> Read more: Is Physician Burnout Affecting Your Care?

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