In the article, Swapna acknowledge that “The data is indisputable: America’s physicians are emotionally stressed, heavily overworked and exhausted due to increasing demands on the profession” and that “42% of all physicians experience burnout” which can negatively impact their personal health, patient experience and health systems operations.
The full piece is online and a key excerpt is below:
Embracing technology that can help
While learning new technology can contribute to increased stress levels among physicians, cutting-edge advances and technology solutions could help combat burnout. Automation and AI have started to supplement data analysis and augment aspects of care delivery, supporting physicians and providers of patient care. Some recent advances include:
• Robots: Many health systems are infusing robots into their care processes. For example, Diligent Technologies released Moxi in 2019. This robot can take care of a significant portion of the transactional tasks that don’t require meeting with patients face to face — think running medical records to someone else in the building. There are numerous other robot technologies available to health systems to help in similar ways.
• Artificial intelligence: Physicians are now using AI to work more efficiently through breakthrough tools like stimulated Raman histology (SRH), developed at Michigan Medicine. Essentially, SRH allows for images of tumor tissue to be generated almost instantly at the bedside. This empowers doctors to review images without sending them for labs, saving time in the identification of tumor tissue. Investing in such advanced solutions will allow health systems to improve operational flows and maximize the impact of a physician’s interaction with their patients.
• Telehealth: As health system services expand to include virtual care and telehealth, they will need to ensure they build structure and support for the physicians using it to connect with patients. In addition to investing in the internet of medical things (IoMT) and providing adequate physical spaces with reliable equipment and technology to conduct confidential video calls with patients, health systems will need to account for both traditional and virtual patient interactions. Ensuring physicians have appropriately scheduled durations for in-person and virtual patient appointments and the required follow-ups is a simple but necessary step to help manage workload.