5 steps to reduce administrative burden for physicians

By Mackenzie Bean for Becker’s Hospital Review

It’s easy for physicians to identify the meaningless tasks that contribute to burnout — many of which are related to EHR use. However, few are empowered to speak up about these burdens, according to a blog post from the American Medical Association.

AMA recommends healthcare organizations establish a framework for physicians to identify and address the root causes of these administrative burdens. Last year, Honolulu-based Hawaii Pacific Health created a program called “Getting Rid of Stupid Stuff” and received more than 300 recommendations from physicians on time-wasting EHR tasks to eliminate.

AMA shared the following five tips to support this effort:

  1. Identify a leader to champion the initiative. This role may be ideal for a chief medical information officer or chief experience officer, AMA noted. It’s also important to include physicians in the early stages of the initiative.
  2. Involve multiple departments. The effort to reduce administrative burden should involve stakeholders from multiple departments all working toward a common goal.
  3. Seek physician input. Ask clinicians to share the tasks and documentation processes that they think fall into the “stupid stuff” category through internal newsletters, department meetings or online employee portals.
  4. Prioritize next steps. As suggestions start to come in, leaders must prioritize which are most important to address. While simple suggestions can be enacted immediately, more complex ones should be funneled to a work group for a more in-depth evaluation.
  5. Celebrate improvement. Leaders should announce and celebrate when any change is made. This recognition will help show physicians that change is possible and encourage them to point out additional inefficiencies.
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