According to the Physicians Misery Index, a survey published recently by the Geneia Company, one of the highest factors in Physician Misery is the doctor’s inability to see more patients. Another misery factor was the increased amount of time spent on data entry and technology. What’s interesting about these two factors is that much of the technology being used in healthcare today is designed to give doctors more time with their patients and to allow them to see more of them. And yet it seems they may not be doing their job. The “Technology Culture” of the prospective healthcare organization is an important consideration when looking for the right place to start your practice. How do you know if you are getting into an environment that will give you joy…or cause you misery?
As a physician, you have spent years learning and training in order to dedicate your life to the field of medicine. The last thing you want is to arrive at your practice and be miserable. Unfortunately, for many physicians completing their training and beginning the search for the best position, this type of question takes a back seat to questions about compensation, bonuses, future partnership, and location. Vetting your potential future employer is a complex process and one that is likely unfamiliar to you. And let’s face it, after living the life of a college student followed by the life of an intern and then resident physician, you are eager to learn the details of your compensation package and potentially getting some help with the student loans you have likely amassed.
So what do we mean by “technology culture?” It all started with a series of policies mandated by the Federal Government. The HIPPA laws, enacted in 2003, created a need for increased information technology in healthcare to provide better privacy, security and access to patient information. The HITECH Act was passed in 2009 followed by the Electronic Medical Records mandate in 2014 further pushed the requirements for electronic documentation. The goal of this type of legislation is to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our healthcare system and provide better patient care. The HITECH Act specifically cites 5 goals and instructs that every criterion should tie back to at least one of these goals: improve quality, safety, and efficiency; engage patients in their care; increase coordination of care; improve the health status of the population; and ensure privacy and security. As a physician, you have undoubtedly been exposed to HER (Electronic Health Records) systems and likely have an opinion about how user friendly and time saving, or consuming, they are.
Along with applications for data collection and security, the healthcare technology industry has been working to find solutions to help with the current and future physician shortage. Obviously one of their goals is to help doctors see more patients, a goal clearly aligned with one of the primary goals of the doctors and a key to improving their overall “Joy in Medicine” status.
With any change in enterprise systems, the introduction and implementation of technology can be chaotic during initial installation. In addition, the quality and ease of use from one technology platform to another varies. And these factors are where physicians can experience frustration and lose precious patient time. This is also why it is important to consider the “Technology Culture” of your potential employer as part of your overall negotiations and selection.
Here are some things to consider:
After dedicating so many years to your training and education, it’s important to make the right decision about where to start your practice. Compensation and benefits are a big part of the equation but there are many other things to think about before you decide. Physicians Placement Concierge understands all the elements that should be considered prior to your decision and we work with our clients to help them make the right choice. Once you have the information and have chosen one or more options, we can help negotiate the best possible contract. If you are just starting your search, you will benefit from a consultation with us. If you are a practicing physician thinking about re-negotiating your contract or considering a move, we can help you weigh your options and negotiate the best contract to move forward. The first consultation is free and guaranteed to be well worth the time!