Burnout in GI doctors and is scribe a way out?

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Mar 16, 2023

Burnout in GI doctors and is scribe a way out?

Did you know that over 60 million Americans are suffering from GI disorders annually? Are you aware that several reports claim that people have been facing digestive issues post pandemic? Well, with a strong need to care for their digestive issues GI doctors are seen extremely busy these days. Gastroenterologist (GI doctor) is an expert in digestive health treating patients from an unsettled stomach and heart burn to performing endoscopies and colonoscopies. Handling a large influx of patients all while complying with an increasing burden of documentation is challenging. The overwhelming amount of paperwork, regulations, patient visits and other tasks they deal with on a daily basis increased gastroenterologist burnout rates. But the good news is that even with burnout issues all over the headlines GI doctors love their work. The secret is they take help from the virtual medical scribes. Gastroenterology virtual scribes help in documenting medical consultations while Gastroenterologists focus on patient care.

Burnout rates among GI doctors

As we move into the post pandemic phase taking a look at GI doctors' burnout rates is quite alarming. Keep reading.

According to the Medscape Gastroenterologist Lifestyle, Burnout & Happiness Report the happiness levels of GI doctors post pandemic has dropped significantly. It was also observed that almost 48% of them reported feeling burned out and the top two reasons cited were "too many bureaucratic tasks and increasing computerization of practice". (EHRs) It was astonishing to note that women GI doctors reported a higher rate of 57% than their male counterparts. (42%). 60% of the GI doctors responded that burnout caused a major strain on their personal relationships as well. Nearly half of the GI doctors were willing to take a pay cut to get the work/life balance they craved for rather than spending a large portion of their work hours on unpleasant tasks like paperwork. Reducing work hours, spending quality time with family and making workflow simpler and efficient were the strategies reported by GI doctors to mitigate burnout.

Another research study presented by ACG president and Cleveland Clinic gastroenterologist Carol Burke, MD, at the 2017 World Congress of Gastroenterology, reported the following. 49% of the doctors said they were feeling burned out, with 17% reporting a reduced sense of personal accomplishment, 45% feeling emotionally spent, and 21% feeling depersonalised. Huff, the burnout rates sounds intimidating isn't it? Let's see what the possible reasons could be.

Reasons for high burnout rates among GI doctors

As per Carol Burke's study on an average GI doctors reported that they spent a solid eight hours in a day providing direct patient care, three hours per day performing administrative tasks, and two hours per day on work-related tasks, like completing charts at home. However, the 2018 Medscape Gastroenterologist Lifestyle Report did not indicate that spending too many hours at work was the main factor contributing to gastroenterologist burnout. Rather, it ranked in second place to "an overload of bureaucratic tasks, such as charting and paperwork". Hence, it is clear that administrative burden and paperwork were the top challenges that GI doctors faced.

How to overcome burnout in GI doctors

GI doctors spend a lot of time typing up notes for each patient encounter. Hiring a gastroenterology virtual scribe helps you have your medical charts ready within minutes after the visit ends, and sometimes even before the patient leaves the room. Dr. David Haas , Director of Endoscopy, Yale New Haven Hospital provided a lecture at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology in October 2019 where he suggested a few ways to reduce burnout in GI practices. His key takeaways included the use of medical scribes for dealing with burnout. Medical scribes provide an opportunity to focus fully on patients and move quickly from one patient to the other.

What studies have to say on how medical scribes can help GI doctors?

A study was conducted in October 2018 to find out if using medical scribes can improve provider efficiency in a GI ambulatory clinic setting. It was observed that scribes can potentially help physicians become more time-efficient. As a result, this may increase physician productivity and allow them to see more patients over the same duration of time.

Another study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology in October 2017 observed that using medical scribes in a GI lab can increase physician satisfaction, productivity and most importantly can generate more revenue by performing more procedures in the same amount of time.

Yet another study was conducted to assess the impact of a medical scribe program in an outpatient pediatric gastroenterology clinic in February 2021. It was found that medical scribes may provide a way to improve physician productivity and workflow efficiency by reducing the time spent on documentation.

Are you a GI doctor struggling to balance documentation and patient care activities and feel that the documentation burden compromises your patient care? We are here to help you. Scribe4Me's gastroenterology scribes allow you to give patients the time and attention they need without documentation responsibilities. You can now listen to their concerns. Be more responsive-whether you are performing a procedure, providing a diagnosis, or seeing a patient for a follow-up without the need to take notes. Our gastroenterology scribes are adequately trained in the terminology, jargon and procedures relating to the GI system to ensure high-quality reports. What more could you ask for? Why wait? Get in touch with us today to know more on how our gastroenterology scribes can improve your productivity and revenue to your practice.

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