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It's time to light a fire to stop physician burnout, starting with better EHRs

April 2019
Fierce Healthcare

[This commentary was authored by PatientKeeper CMO Dr. Chris Maiona]

While there’s some dispute as to which direction the trend line is pointing, the undisputed fact is nearly half of all practicing physicians report feeling burned out.

The psychological phenomenon of “burnout” is known to be a catalyst for depression, alcohol and drug abuse, and in extreme cases, even suicide. (Experts estimate that between 300 and 400 physicians in the U.S. take their lives every year—the highest rate of any profession, and nearly double that of the general population.)

In itself, this is an enormously troubling statistic. It also is part of a larger challenge confronting the U.S. healthcare system: an impending shortage of about 120,000 physicians by the year 2030, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. The potential consequences of such a shortage are profound.

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