Beat Down Burnout

Your EHR Isn’t Responsible for Your Burnout

Your EHR isn’t responsible for your burnout. There. I said it. That’s right. It isn’t your EHR’s fault you’re burnt out. Granted, your workload is an incredible driver or burnout, and the EHR is a big piece of that. However, the EHR is a piece of machinery. It simply manages information. Research shows if you want to change your workload, you must have conversations around that workload. You must communicate and set boundaries. You must know what you want, how to say it, and you have to say it in such a way that values everyone at the table.


“I know it’s my EHR,” you say. “All that time spent documenting Meaningful Use.”


I acknowledge that the data shows that Meaningful Use documentation adds hours to our workday, with minimal return. It seldom changes how we treat patients. I agree with you and everyone else on that. However, this has been the case for 15-20 years and most of you have not been involved in conversations to get this changed. So, how do we change that? How do we get involved in the conversation for change?


To get massive change, we’re going to need massive involvement. Everyone who is affected by unnecessary data entry needs to speak up. Get informed. Learn who the players are at the EHR companies. What are their pain points? Learn all you can about their competition. Inform yourself about unnecessary data entry. Who else could be doing this? If physicians need to do it, which is an incredibly expensive way to enter data and completely illogical, then how can it be made swifter and easier? Who are the IT people in your own organization who can assist you? Do your state and local medical associations have a task force for this? If not, why not? This takes up so much of our days, there should be task forces at every level looking at this. Get on those teams, or at least support the development of such teams. Then, know what you want. Ask for it in a way that values everyone at the table. Have all the key players represented at the table. This gets sustainable change.


How do you know when you’re speaking in a way that values everyone at the table? I thought you’d never ask. This is where we get into the nitty-gritty. You must know their values. You must be able to speak their code, their personality code, what I call their Bankcode. If you don’t know your own Bankcode, you can go to the link and find out in less than 90 seconds. You’ll see four tiles. On each tile are 12 values. In my coaching, I teach people to listen for these values and to speak to people’s values. This results in people feeling heard, feeling valued. This is how you truly get your point across; how you get your boundaries set.


Now, I know not everyone who watches this is going to be motivated to join a task force. Perhaps they’ll reach out to their IT team and learn how they can give input to the EHR company. Maybe they’ll support the development of a task force for their local medical association. If we all took a little responsibility and did something, we would move systematically closer to the goals of making Meaningful Use easier and spending less time in the EHR.

Nanette Nuessle