Could AI Be Used to Reduce Physician Burnout?
Countless physicians across the country report struggling with burnout. They are overworked and often continue working at home, preventing them from relaxing meaningfully. However, artificial intelligence could potentially reduce physicians’ workload and, consequently, burnout.
The Source of Physician Burnout
It is true that physicians work long hours and see many patients, often in emotionally demanding situations. However, burnout has increased in recent years in part because of electronic health records, or EHRs. EHR was supposed to improve information sharing and patient documentation, but it has also increased the demand for physicians’ time.
Maintaining accurate EHR documentation takes up a lot of doctors’ time. They have to condense long visits into detailed notes, record observations into the system and comply with complex documentation requirements. Many physicians reported that most of their time was spent on EHR. Many even stay late at the office just to fill out documentation.
Where Does AI Fit Into the EHR Process?
Artificial intelligence can reduce the burden that EHR places on doctors. Different technologies can automate documentation so physicians do not have to enter patient information themselves. For example, one AI developed in Providence listens to patient conversations and transcribes critical data.
AI allows doctors to focus on conversations with patients by automating part or all of the documentation process. This allows for more accurate diagnoses. Physicians also get to spend most of their time doing what they entered the medical field to do in the first place — treating patients.
Automating at least part of the EHR process also significantly reduces physician workload. Instead of entering all the information themselves, they only need to review automated transcriptions for accuracy and add any additional notes. This gives physicians more time to relax instead of catching up at work at home and prevents burnout.
AI is still a new technology, and lots of testing still needs to be done before it can be adapted widely in medical offices. However, AI has the potential to revolutionize healthcare and reduce burnout among physicians.
Originally published on ChartWestcott.com on March 18, 2022