In May 2022, the Surgeon General released an advisory – “Addressing Health Worker Burnout” - which includes several recommendations to reduce the burden on health workers in the United States. The document included a reference to the 25x5 Symposium, an American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) led initiative to reduce the documentation burden by 75% in the next five years.
AMIA agrees that fixing this issue will require a holistic approach, one that addresses systems-level challenges associated with organizational culture, policy, regulations, information technology, financial incentives, and health inequities. AMIA applauds the involvement of the Surgeon General and supports the need for swift action. AMIA suggests that healthcare organizations consider the following actions from the 25x5 summary report as part of their efforts to reduce burden:
- Adopt guiding principles and rigorous practices for all documentation requirements and develop collaborative, evidence-based efforts led by fellow clinician experts1, utilizing clinical knowledge to eliminate and reduce unnecessary tasks2, using automated systems to streamline work or reducing duplicative information3
- Review, optimize, and reduce “self-imposed” organization-driven requirements, which can add as much burden as external requirements and compliance activities4;
- Leverage standards and non-EHR data sources to build an equity-centered data system infrastructure5:
- Provide equitable and increased access to telemedicine and other virtual care options with a focus on the patient and caregiver experiences6:
- Harmonize internal procedures and policies with federal and state related reductions in documentation due to the pandemic for sustainable solutions7:
- Review new requirements being implemented by the regulating federal agencies on quality measures and reimbursement metrics and determine a path to compliance without increasing documentation8:
- Advocate for healthcare software vendors to implement electronic prior authorization software solutions around clinician needs9;
- Implement data interoperability and integration among electronic systems to reduce duplicative data entry and better coordinate patient care among different clinicians and healthcare organizations10;
- Partner with healthcare systems and other payors to streamline prior authorization processes, coding validations, and EHR technology with clear and uniform rules and to develop “data handshakes” to reduce duplication11:
- Ensure all documentation done during a patient encounter is clinically relevant and implemented without concern or time spent relating to billing, reimbursement, or other administrative operations.12.
AMIA is working with its members and collaborating with other partner stakeholders to provide support through advocacy and identify avenues for reducing or eliminating documentation burden.
- 1 American Medical Informatics Association. (2022). AMIA 25x5: Reducing documentation burden and optimizing the electronic health record. Pg. 14.
- 2 United States Surgeon General. (2022). Addressing Health Worker Burnout. Pg. 20-21
- 3 Pg. 11
- 4 Pg. 18
- 5 Pg. 11
- 6 Id.
- 7 Pg. 7, 12.
- 8 Pg. 10
- 9 Pg. 26
- 10 Pg. 25
- 11 Pg. 26
- 12 Pg. 10, 14, 18, 26.