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The Impact of EHR Burdens on Physician Burnout

September 29, 2020

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 shows that electronic health records (EHR) contribute to physician burnout due to the increased clerical burden that disrupts the time spent with patients.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 experts 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

2. Rebekah L. Gardner, et al. “Physician Stress and Burnout: The Impact of Health Information Technology.” Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, Volume 26, Issue 2, February 2019, Pages 106–114. doi:10.1093/jamia/ocy145

3. The Physicians Foundation. 2018 Survey of America’s Physicians: Practice Patterns & Perspectives. 9/18/2018.

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

5. Christine Sinsky, MD, FACP, et al. “Creating the Organizational Foundation for Joy in Medicine.” AMA, STEPS Forward.

Filed under: Digital Health, Special Report, Professional Wellness



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