Physicians are under increasing demand to achieve the Clinical Trifecta of productivity, quality and satisfaction. As pressure for scaling efficiency mounts, a growing number of stakeholders are charged with keeping doctors compliant and productive.
Each stakeholder is typically only with their task – their spreadsheet, graph, email query, documentation correction, insurance submission, etc. The demands then trickle to the doctor who has to decide when, where or whether to allocate time to the issue. What can be done quickly, what must be done methodically and how to strategically apply benign neglect are part of the calculus of the modern physician.
As a means of survival, the medical day is increasingly a zero-sum game. It’s the physics of physician bandwidth: You can’t add something without taking something away.
So attention needs to be paid to the balance of non-patient care demands. A metric that allows healthcare systems to monitor administrative burdens as a quality measure would be a great way to begin to understand this problem.
Burnout theorists have a million answers for the epidemic phenomenon of the empty medical professional. No one considers the downstream effect of unlimited upstream administrative demands on health professionals. Be assured that the compounding asks on the zero-sum medical day are a strong contributor.
Image modified via Chris Barbalis on Unsplash.