The Day-To-Day Tasks Physicians Dislike
If you asked your physicians what they love most about their job, what would they say? Maybe it’s the opportunity to continue their education, or meet new people. More likely though, they’ll tell you that the best part of their job is helping their patients. After all, that’s why they chose this profession in the first place!
On the other hand, what would they say if you asked what the least favorite part of their job is? Unfortunately, many physicians feel unsatisfied with their job due to the variety of time-consuming tasks they are required to complete daily. Tasks like EHR input, medical authorizations and billing uncertainties eat away at the already limited time physicians have. What’s even more, the time involved with these tasks prevents physicians from doing what they love most—taking care of their patients.
While periodic dissatisfaction is normal, it should never be dismissed. Now more than ever, physicians are experiencing high levels of burnout, which can usually be attributed to the mundane, timely tasks physicians are burdened with.
To help shed light on the time-consuming, day-to-day tasks physicians dislike, we created this list. Below, you will find seven tasks every physician dreads—even the ones at your practice.
7 Tasks Physicians Dislike Most About Their Job
1. Lengthy Documentation
It’s no secret that the amount of paperwork a physician must complete every day can get overwhelming—especially when it comes to patient notes. Many physicians find themselves taking work home due to time-consuming note taking.
If a physician takes notes during a consultation or treatment, the patient may feel as though the physician isn’t paying attention. While this saves time for the physician, it negatively impacts the patient-provider relationship. However, if the physician waits until after the patient leaves to document the notes, the relationship between patient and provider will be stronger—but it comes at a price. This requires more time from the physician at work and potentially at home, time that could be spent with other patients or their family.
Ultimately, the physician fails either way. The physician must complete this amount of lengthy documentation at some point, and it’s up to them to either compromise on patient care or their time. This decision is weighted and unfair, which is why many physicians dread the amount of documentation that accompanies their job.
2. Coding Patient Visits
Medical coding is an essential part of every practice. When done properly, coding improves patient care and allows your practice to collect timely reimbursement from your insurance provider. Coding isn’t always done correctly though, which may result in serious complications for your practice. To learn more about the implications of improper coding, click here.
Coding in itself is time-consuming. Not only do physicians have to make sure the code they’re using is correct, but also verify that the coding hasn’t changed. Continued education is necessary for medical coding since coding changes at least once a year. Taking into consideration all the work a physician must complete in a day, they simply don’t have the time to verify these changes.
3. Requesting Medical Authorizations
If a patient requires a level of specialty care, they should be able to get it immediately—right? Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Many physicians find themselves frustrated with the amount of time it takes to request authorization for specialized patient care.
In most cases, a patient’s primary care provider (PCP) knows what type and level of care their patient needs. However, requesting a referral or authorization to a specialty provider through an insurance company takes time.
This process isn’t always cut and dry, which makes it difficult for PCPs and specialty care providers to set aside time to request a referral or authorization. This process becomes even more arduous when a practice doesn’t use a digital referral management system.
While referrals and authorizations are crucial to improving the patient experience, this is one of the tasks physicians dislike due to the amount of time involved.
4. Extensive Amounts Of Computer Work
While the increased implementation of electronic health record (EHR) systems is a step in the right direction for the healthcare industry, it’s proving to be a struggle for physicians. Physicians often feel stuck behind their computers, and the rapid adaptation of EHR plays a large role in that.
Think about it—when’s the last time you saw one of your physicians without a computer or tablet in their hand? Don’t get us wrong, these electronics are necessary to quickly adding, editing and accessing patient information. However, physicians continue to be frustrated due to the amount of time-consuming work required on their computers.
Many physicians feel that their job has become more about checking boxes and clicking buttons than about providing excellent patient care. Navigating through a difficult EHR is no easy task, and it’s common for physicians to get stuck checking notifications and shifting between tabs.
While these difficulties typically stem from a lack of EHR optimizations and training, they only further contribute to a physician’s lack of time. In turn, physicians begin to form negative opinions about their EHR, making it one more daily task physicians dislike.
5. Explaining Billing Uncertainties
Sometimes, patients don’t understand the cost behind their care, and that’s okay. Patients shouldn’t understand every intricacy involved in their care—that level of knowledge should come from the physician and their team.
However, much of a physician’s time is spent explaining the level of care needed, the cost associated with that care and how the patient is expected to pay for that care. Patient billing is a soft spot for many practices, and physicians commonly get caught in between the patient and the billing process.
While it’s important for a patient to understand how the billing process works, it takes time for a physician to explain this process. Again, this is time a physician simply doesn’t have, and a task they dread doing.
6. Searching For Patient Documentation
If your medical documents are mismanaged, chances are your physicians are frustrated. When patient information is difficult to locate, outdated, or missing, it costs your physicians even more time. Locating accurate and up-to-date patient documentation is undeniably time consuming, and it negatively impacts patient care.
Without the correct documentation, physicians cannot provide the care they should otherwise be able to. This causes even more stress and frustration not only for the physician, but for the patient as well. Physicians shouldn’t have to spend their time finding or correcting patient information, and patients shouldn’t have to duplicate information that has already been given. Ultimately, it’s a waste of time and source of frustration on both ends.
7. Proofreading And Editing Patient Information
Taking patient notes is time-consuming in itself—but it doesn’t stop there. After notes have been entered into the EHR, physicians are usually stuck proofreading and editing patient information. Looking for discrepancies or errors in patient data takes up more time than you may realize.
Errors can negatively impact patient care, and may even cause ethical or legal issues within your practice. More often than not, the only way to avoid these issues is through frequent proofreading and editing. While this task is necessary, physicians dislike it due to its tedious nature and the extra time it requires.
Is proofreading still an issue even with Voice Recognition Software? If so, read our blog:
How To Relieve Your Physicians From These Time-Consuming Tasks
Your physicians complete these seven tasks daily, all of which account for a majority of their time. In order to increase revenue at your practice, you need a solution that relieves your physicians from these daily duties. After all, the more patients they are able to see, the more money your practice stands to receive.
So, how can you do it? The answer is DataMatrix Medical.
At DataMatrix Medical, we have six main solutions:
- Medical transcription
- VRS proofreading
- Document management
- Authorization and referral management
- Patient billing
These solutions were established with your practice in mind. We identified the areas that medical practices and their physicians struggle with the most, and created solutions to solve these issues. Our mission is to provide solutions that complement one another, so that we can help your practice excel and grow in more ways than just one.
Don’t let your practice struggle due to these tasks physicians dislike. Let our solutions help! We can aid in the day-to-day functions of your practice, allowing your physicians the time they need to do what they love while generating more revenue for your practice. Contact us today to learn more about how our customizable solutions can benefit you.
Remember, physician burnout is real—and your physicians shouldn’t have to experience it. To further protect your physicians from burnout, download our free guide, Successful Strategies To Mitigate Burnout At Your Practice, below.