Unhappy Docs May Be a Side Effect of Health Care’s Focus on Efficiency
Mar 25, 2014, 2:00 PM
Has a push for increased efficiency in health care come at the expense of physicians’ happiness? That’s a big question explored recently in a Becker’s Hospital Review article.
Molly Gamble writes:
Physician stress and engagement issues were not born from reform.... But now other factors—such as increased workloads, electronic medical records and physicians’ apprehension to work for hospitals—add another layer of complexity. Healthcare’s pursuit of efficiency seems to be making the adoption of other values it endorses, such as patient-centeredness and continuity of care, more difficult.
Physicians’ interactions with coworkers and patients are changing, according to the article—and the learning curve for electronic medical records and other technological advances has left many physicians looking at screens more and patients less.
Physicians may be facing a “new normal” in health care, or “an awkward adjustment phase in which physicians get up to speed,” the article concludes, reminding health care leaders that either way, increased efficiency can bring not only gains, but losses as well.
This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.