The demanding nature of electronic health record (EHR) documentation has a significant impact on the work-life balance of physicians. In today’s technologically advanced healthcare environment, the boundaries between work and personal life have become blurred, and physicians often find themselves bringing patient charts home to complete. This added workload and administrative burden contribute to physician burnout and work-life imbalance. However, by outsourcing medical documentation requirements to professional companies and utilizing virtual medical scribes, physicians can regain control over their work-life balance.
Burnout and work-life balance
Burnout and work-life balance are closely intertwined, with a heavy workload being a major driver of burnout. Administrative tasks, such as excessive paperwork and EHR demands, can drain physicians’ energy and hinder their ability to maintain a healthy work-life balance. To address these challenges, one proposed solution is to seek scribe support. Virtual medical scribes can help alleviate the burden of documentation, reduce burnout, and promote a more balanced lifestyle.
EHR and work-life balance
After-hours time spent on the EHR is associated with less work-life satisfaction. A study conducted among primary care residents and faculty revealed that 53% of participants were dissatisfied with their work-life balance, and 85% reported that EHR use had a negative impact on their work-life balance. Additionally, the time spent on EHR-related tasks outside of normal clinic hours or at home, referred to as “pajama time,” was associated with higher burnout rates and lower work-life satisfaction. Reducing the need for “pajama time” can help physicians restore their work-life balance.
EHR burden is associated with physician satisfaction and work-life balance
Data from a national survey on the experiences of early to mid-career pediatricians further highlights the link between EHR burden and work-life balance. A significant majority (74%) of pediatricians reported that EHRs were a moderate to major source of burden, and 54% found it difficult to balance professional responsibilities with personal time and family obligations. The study concluded that the administrative burdens imposed by EHR use contributed to poor work-life balance and lower levels of job and life satisfaction among pediatricians.
How virtual medical scribes can help
The introduction of virtual medical scribes can help alleviate the EHR documentation burden and enable physicians to regain their work-life balance. By working in real-time, virtual scribes complete charts and save physicians up to 2 to 3 hours per day. This newfound time allows physicians to prioritize their personal lives and spend quality time with their families. With virtual scribes handling the documentation, physicians no longer need to wake up early or stay late to catch up on charting. Pairing a medical scribe with a physician has been shown to improve clinician satisfaction, reduce workload stress, and enhance efficiency. Physicians have reported higher energy levels, improved work-life balance, and even a desire to work more shifts when they can continue utilizing a scribe.
One of the key obstacles to achieving a work-life balance is the overwhelming paperwork and administrative duties that physicians face daily. In the digital age, charting responsibilities often extend beyond traditional work hours, encroaching into personal time. By employing virtual medical scribes who provide real-time documentation support, physicians can alleviate this burden and focus more on patient care while achieving a better work-life balance.
If you’re a physician feeling overwhelmed with after-hours EHR demands and struggling to maintain an optimal work-life balance, there are many scribe service providers out there to help you. Our expert scribes can assist you with real-time EHR documentation, eliminating the need for after-hours chart completion or carrying charts home. By removing the documentation burden from your shoulders, we enable you to return home early and enjoy dinner with your family. You’ll have more personal time to prioritize your physical, emotional, and mental well-being, ultimately leading to better patient care as well.
Don’t let EHR documentation control your life. Reach out to scribe service providers and experience the benefits of virtual scribe support, allowing you to reclaim your work-life balance and improve both your professional and personal satisfaction.