Data Analytics and Decreasing Physician Burnout

In a previous blog post, we talked about the “Why?” of utilizing data in healthcare. Now we’ll take a closer look into how data driven optimization can impact physicians, specifically when it comes to physician burnout and distribution of patients among providers.

During med school, doctors are trained to work nonstop as the patient must come first over their own personal needs. After education, this mindset rarely changes with physicians working upwards of 80 hours a week. This work ethic has historically been effective for caring for patients, but also has been shown to lead to physician burnout.

Enter data analytics.

Using machine learning, physicians no longer need to have a 12-hour day in order give the best possible care to all of their patients. Rather than trying to fill their schedules past 100% capacity, providers are able to build a more optimized schedule, filling each slot with the best appointment type. Moreover, this data-fueled optimization allows for better distribution of patients amongst providers.

Scheduling based on which provider is “busy” or “not busy” creates vastly unequal schedules between resources. This system creates the opportunity for one physician to see all of the high priority cases, where another may only be seeing the routine visits. Understanding the scope of appointments seen by a practice allows for better distribution of all appointment types across all providers. A data driven scheduling platform will not only maximize the efficacy of the individual providers, but in doing so, will maximize the performance for the practice as a whole.

With decreasing physician burnout and increasing the distribution of the patient load among the providers, we not only will see more content doctors, but also a higher satisfaction rate with the patients. Physician burnout is linked to lower care quality, so by eliminating it with optimized scheduling, a practice will work better for their patients. Furthermore, by improving the distribution of cases among the providers of the practice, the patients will get to see the best provider for their appointment.

Here we have discussed two major ways that data can be used to better healthcare operations. Stay tuned for future blogs from other Opargonauts on how else data can improve medicine efficiency.