Stress on Physicians Could Affect Patient Care

Stress on Physicians Affect Patient CareNow, even with EHR systems, many doctors rely on medical transcription services for timely documentation of patient records. This is because with the introduction of EHR systems, most doctors tend to work long hours in order to complete their documentation. While physicians recognize the benefits of EHR, they also complain that many systems deployed nowadays are cumbersome to use and often act as obstacles when it comes to providing quality care. Junior doctors also claim that the excessive stress they experience could be putting patients at risk.

Pressure on Junior Doctors Affecting Patient Care

A report by the Royal College of Physicians reveals lack of basic facilities and gaps in nursing rotas pose challenges for junior doctors. A survey of 498 junior doctors shows that the current health and wellbeing of the junior doctor workforce is at a harmful and unsustainable level.

  • 4 out of 5 junior doctors report that their job sometimes or often cause them excessive stress.
  • More than half of the respondents said that their job sometimes or often had a negative impact on their physical health.
  • 1 out of 4 respondents said that their job has had a serious impact on their mental health.

Junior doctors pointed out that excessive workloads not only affect themselves but also the patient care they provide. The following are common factors that led to excessive workload and negative impact on patient safety and care.

  • Lack of basic facilities such as hospital beds (61%)
  • Poor patient access to social care (58%)
  • Nursing rota gaps (51%)

The survey also stated that the working conditions for many junior doctors fall short of what is needed i.e. limited access to food and water. The findings show that more than half of the junior doctors reported that they go through shifts sometimes without eating a meal; and nearly three quarters complained that they may have to spend shifts without drinking enough water. There is no doubt that poor access to basic facilities, excessive workload, and constant pressure of administration will lead to poor treatment of patients.

There are myriad ways in which medicine can enhance the lives of patients. The entire provider workforce must be able to enjoy good health, work in a stress-free environment and offer safe and effective care.

Reducing the Documentation Burden

A major factor that puts pressure on physicians is the EHR system, as mentioned at the outset. Studies show that physicians who use EHR tend to become disgruntled with the clerical tasks and are more likely to get stressed out. This is because physicians have to spend more hours on EHR documentation rather than devote valuable time to their patients. A provider of accurate medical transcription services can help create error-free transcripts of all physician notes in a timely and organized manner.