You are the CEO of your body. Without health, you have nothing. —Michael Seidman, MD
Explore This IssueMarch 2020
J.P. Giliberto, MD, assistant professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at the University of Washington in Seattle, offered some hope that EHRs could be changing to ease the load on physicians. Dr. Giliberto helps train physicians at his center to use the Epic electronic health record system to their advantage.
One change nationally, he said, is to the physical exam SmartBlock, a general-purpose form that often requires so many clicks that even Dr. Giliberto doesn’t use it. But a more otolaryngology- and user-friendly version is on the way, he said. Most of what otolaryngologists need will be on one page, with scripted and cascading boxes to streamline the input. The update is still being built and tested, and the goal is to have the new version ready by August.
In a study presented in a poster at the meeting, he and his colleagues reviewed data on provider efficiency profiles (PEP), a way of measuring how efficiently physicians and others use the EHR. Across several centers, they found physicians interacted with the system 70 minutes a day and 7.36 minutes per appointment (Triological Society Combined Sections Meeting. Abstract 35. Presented January 23-25, 2020, San Diego).
While those numbers might seem high, Dr. Giliberto said they varied across centers and among users at a single institution. Those on the lower end of the range could offer a “road map” for others on customizing their EHR and using their limited information technology resources to their greatest advantage.
He said he is part of a committee at his center that helps physicians get the most out of the EHR.
“EHRs are a current reality, and you can be involved in the change to shape what’s to come,” he said.
Finding Health and Happiness
Aside from adapting systems and hoping for better leadership, there are individual steps physicians can take to guard against burnout, said Michael Seidman, MD, medical director for wellness at AdventHealth Medical Group in Kissimmee, Fla. He reminded the audience that happiness isn’t something to postpone.
Dr. Seidman said physicians should be gentle with themselves. Too often, “[we’re] hardest on ourselves and flexible with others,” he said.
“Accept what is—and don’t let ‘what is not’ control you,” Dr. Seidman said.
Events or feelings that are negative have a bigger effect than things that are positive, but there are ways to try to keep negative emotions under control, including finding lessons in bad events, he said, and going on a “low bad diet,” in which you dwell on the positive and let the bad “slide off.”
Health, of course, is a big part of happiness, Dr. Seidman said. He reminded the audience about the basics: nutrition, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly.
“You are the CEO of your body,” he said. “Without health, you have nothing.”