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The Impact of EHR Burdens on Physician Burnout

April 11, 2019

Physician burnout is associated with two-fold increased odds for unsafe care, unprofessional behaviors, and low patient satisfaction according to one study.1 Another study concludes that electronic health records (EHR) are a leading factor in physician burnout due to the increased clerical burden and reduced efficiency associated with them.2 Like many other healthcare issues, preventing physician burnout is cheaper and safer than managing the downstream consequences. In this special report, the Risk Management team at NORCAL offer strategies to address stress caused by EHRs.

EHR a Chief Contributor to Physician Burnout


  • 77.8% of physicians have feelings of professional burnout3
  • Burnout is nearly twice as prevalent among physicians vs. other U.S. workers4


  • 65.7% of physicians indicate that EHR negatively affects patient relationships3
  • $500,000 to more than $1M potential cost to replace a physician who leaves due to burnout5

Best Practices

  • Risk Management strategies to reduce EHR burdens
For more practical strategies on addressing the impact of EHR burdens on physician burnout, visit our Physician Wellness site’s “Solutions to Reduce EHR Burdens and Decrease Physician Burnout.”


1. Maria Panagioti, PhD, et al. “Association Between Physician Burnout and Patient Safety, Professionalism, and Patient Satisfaction: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” JAMA Intern Med. 2018;178(10):1317–1330. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.3713 (accessed 1/7/2019)

2. Tait D. Shanafelt, M.D., et al. “Relationship Between Clerical Burden and Characteristics of the Electronic Environment with Physician Burnout and Professional Satisfaction.” Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2016;91(7):836-848. doi:10.1016/j.mayocp.2016.05.007 (accessed 1/7/2019)

3. The Physicians Foundation. 2018 Survey of America’s Physicians: Practice Patterns & Perspectives. 9/18/2018. (accessed 1/7/2019)

4. Lotte N. Dyrbye, et al. “Burnout Among Health Care Professionals: A Call to Explore and Address This Underrecognized Threat to Safe, High-Quality Care.” NAM Perspectives. 2017. Discussion Paper, National Academy of Medicine, Washington, DC. doi: 10.31478/201707b (accessed 1/7/2019)

5. Christine Sinsky, MD, FACP, et al. “Creating the Organizational Foundation for Joy in Medicine.” AMA, STEPS Forward. (accessed 1/7/2019)

Filed under: Special Report, Practice Manager, Physician, Physician Burnout, Electronic Health Records (EHR) Burdens, Professional Wellness



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