Burnout. It’s visible everywhere: in the community, workplace, and doctor’s office. New research from the American Medical Association (AMA), Mayo Clinic, and Stanford Medicine found that the third – physician burnout – is at an all-time high, with more than 60% of physicians saying they experienced at least one manifestation of burnout in 2021, as compared to 38% the year before.
This is not hard to understand or empathize with. Providers were at the frontlines of the pandemic, navigating a constantly changing situation in the clinical setting as well as at home with their own families and friends. And despite signs showing that we are getting closer to the endemic phase of COVID-19, the tailwinds will be felt for years to come.
Addressing provider burnout is not only the right thing to do, it is also an important step toward supporting the healthcare industry in retaining talent and expertise. With the right approaches, health systems can simplify tasks that are currently taxing providers and care teams, freeing up valuable time to refocus on what they want to do most: deliver good patient care and experiences.
What’s Causing Provider Dissatisfaction Today?
In addition to being human and struggling with the post-pandemic reality that we are all living in, providers face unique challenges as medical professionals. According to the AMA Recovery Plan for America’s Physicians, there are five specific items the industry must address in order to help physicians recover, including:
- Fixing prior authorization
- Reforming Medicare repayment
- Fighting scope creep
- Supporting telehealth
- Reducing physician burnout
Addressing these will improve the health, wellbeing, and retention of our physician workforce, while also supporting good patient experiences, care, and outcomes. Take prior authorizations as one example.
The 2021 AMA prior authorization (PA) physician survey reports that physicians and their staff spend almost two business days (13 hours) each week completing PAs, with 88% of physicians describing the burden associated with PA as high or extremely high on their practice. They also report that the PA process compromises patient satisfaction and care with:
- 93% of physicians reporting care delays when a PA is required
- 91% percent perceiving the overall PA process has a somewhat or significant negative impact on patient clinical outcomes
- 34% of physicians reporting that a PA has led to a serious adverse event for a patient in their care
It’s clear that the time and need for change is now. The good news is that solutions like Real-Time Prescription Benefit (RTPB) already exist and are proven to improve the PA process for providers and patients alike.
How Can Real-Time Prescription Benefit Support Provider and Patient Satisfaction?
Today’s physicians spend an average of 4.5 hours a day in the EHR in the office and at home, reading and adding notes, among other tasks. High-quality RTPB tools like the one Arrive Health offers are integrated directly into the EHR workflow, giving providers actionable data they can use to optimize or avoid the PA process entirely. Here’s how it works:
- Avoiding PAs and reducing associated administrative burden: Within seconds, providers using Arrive Health’s RTPB solution will see a PA alert as well as any available alternatives, some of which might not require a PA. With this information, prescribers can write the right prescription at the right time. There’s significant value in this; having access to this type of real-time information helped one Arrive Health client’s pulmonary department avoid 31% of PA’s in 2021 alone. With an average of 30+ minutes spent on each PA, that translates to significant downstream administrative time saved and potentially redirected resources toward patient-facing activities.
- Streamlining workflows when PAs are necessary: Sometimes a medication requiring a PA is the best option for the patient. When that happens, a RTPB tool can automatically initiate the ePA process. Electronically completing some of the early steps in the process, like answering a questionnaire, can also reduce the administrative burden while ensuring transparent communication with patients and care teams.
- Boosting provider and patient satisfaction: Seeing PA notifications at the point of care is one way to help providers prescribe covered medications, and identify lower-cost options and convenient ways for patients to access them (like mail-order or at a local pharmacy). This is a win-win for all involved.
Improving the PA process and reducing administrative headaches that contribute to physician burnout is possible with technology like Arrive Health’s RTPB solution. As UCHealth, an Arrive Health partner, shared with HealthcareIT News, “By making this information accessible at the point of care and integrating with our EHR, the technology reduces administrative burden on clinical staff and streamlines workflows. Physicians no longer have to make phone calls to the pharmacy to ask about cost information or manually search for medication alternatives or coupons.”
Let’s clear the way for better health, for our patients and our providers, together. Contact us to learn how RTPB can help you address provider burnout.