There is an epidemic of physician burnout in the United States, and it has widespread negative effects on all aspects of healthcare.
44% of physicians reported feeling burned out (Medscape January 2019. There are many reasons why physicians might experience burnout, but below are seven of the more common causes along with how OutcomeMD helps.
Increased utilization of subjective online reviews has created space for blackmail to enter the doctor-patient relationship. Physician’s online reputations can be damaged by a patient who, for example, is unhappy that they had to pay their copay, or didn’t get the prescription they wanted, or didn’t like front office staff, none of which has anything to do with the doctor’s ability to deliver a good outcome to the patient. In fact, 72% of the patients who are unhappy and who post negative feedback on Google and Yelp are not doing so because of the patient-physician experience (reference). And higher patient satisfaction has been correlated with higher mortality. Doctors in America must satisfy their patients in order to maintain a profitable business, which is to say that, in many cases, they need to cater to patients desires rather than specifically focusing on delivering the best care possible.
How we help - With OutcomeMD, providers’ business models can shift from patient catering to patient care. Outcome Marketing aligns the providers ability to obtain and maintain good outcomes with their ability to attract and convert new patients. No longer is the patient’s ‘opinion’ of their experience the main driver of the provider’s business. Physicians who are empowered to focus on helping patients achieve good outcomes in this way can sleep better at night knowing that they are doing the right thing for their patients and their businesses.
Doctors simply don’t have time to adequately measure a patient’s symptoms and quality of life burden that they carry as a result of their medical condition. One study showed that the average doctor interrupts a patient after 11 seconds (reference 1)(reference 2). Providers cannot be expected to ask the perfect, literature-validated questions for every condition they treat, and they certainly can’t be expected to quickly calculate the array of different formulas required to properly score the patient’s responses. They also don’t have an easy real-time way to understand how similar patients responded in the past to the various treatment options.
How we help - OutcomeMD scores a patient's symptoms in a transparent, easy-to-understand way, before the doctor even walks in the door to see them. Instead of playing 21 questions with the patient, the provider can now have an efficient, meaningful discussion with the patient about how best to treat their condition. And this decision can be informed by how similar patients did with similar treatments in the past driven by objective outcome data.
Patients don’t have objective ways to find doctors, so many admit that they don’t inherently trust them. As a result patients sometimes ask their providers to explain why they should choose them for their care. They may ask how many times have you done this treatment, or can I speak with a previous patient of yours as a reference? These interactions may be standard in business, but can be quite uncomfortable for providers.
How we help - When patients have the ability to view a providers’ actual outcomes, displayed on their friends' social media, the doctors’ review sites, and on the doctors’ website in the form of outcome-based testimonials, they inherently trust that the doctor will help them, too, achieve a good outcome. OutcomeMD authenticates that the data is true, real-time outcome data from existing patients of that provider.
Providers are pressured to thoroughly document their evaluation and thought processes during the patient visit. This results in a major disconnect during doctor-patient interactions, as eye contact is often a thing of the past; the computer screen and keyboard win. If clinicians do not adequately document they can have a hard time defending themself in an audit or lawsuit. These pressures can make providers feel like they cannot adequately focus their time and effort on communicating with patients in a connected, meaningful way.
How we help - Before a visit to the doctor starts, OutcomeMD has already auto-documented much of what is typically required during a visit. For example, what’s the perfect documentation for the History of Present Illness section of a doctors note? - It’s the answers to the perfect questions to ask a patient to evaluate their current symptom burden, color coded for answer severity, so the clinician can auto-document and instantly understand the patients’ status in a fully documented way. Similarly OutcomeMD can auto-document intake forms, adverse life events, a 10-point review of systems, and more. This auto-documentation gives the provider the information they need, at their fingertips, and frees them up to look at their patients in the eyes as they together come up with an ideal treatment plan.
Providers are often required to speak to payers to defend their requests for patient treatments and services before they can be approved. This process is time consuming and extremely frustrating for providers. The pre-approval requirement stems from the fact that doctors often order unnecessary tests and treatments in an attempt to cater to patients, as discussed above, and from the fact that payers have no objective way to know that a provider makes sound medical decisions.
How we help - Consistent with the concepts of Value Based Care, payers realize that, at a minimum, providers who track outcomes are attempting to get good outcomes, and are continuously trying to improve what they do by dialing in best practices. They can also identify the outliers; those who consistently deliver poor care, and remove them from their provider list. It has also been shown that PRO-informed provider notifications around patients who are doing poorly decreases complication rates, hence saves them money (reference). OutcomeMD is currently working with payers who have waived pre-approval requirements for providers who are using OutcomeMD.
In order to maintain board certification most clinicians must pay large sums of money to their respective Boards, and take regular academic tests or collect and deliver patient records in difficult to compile formats. Doctors should practice evidence-based medicine, but the system does not make it easy to inform decisions as the medical literature can be flawed with bias and underpowered studies that may not relate to the specific patient phenotype of the individual who the doctor may be treating. Maintenance of board certification is yet another reason that it can feel exhausting to be a provider.
How we help - In the perfect world, providers would be Outcome Certified, not Board Certified. As a third party authenticator of the outcome data, OutcomeMD can perhaps someday help Board Certifiers move away from antiquated provider requirements in favor of scientific outcome-based certification.
It’s only an art of medicine because there's not enough science, but many doctors resent decision support tools that are based on old meta-analyses from the medical literature that may not specifically apply to the patient sitting in front of them. They often feel like their clinical instincts are being undervalued, which of course makes it less enjoyable to practice medicine.
How we help - OutcomeMD is on path to deliver the ultimate decision support tools that allows providers to perform real-time, instant, prospective, powerful, mult-center trials on phenotypically similar patients to the one sitting in front of them. They will be able to do this at the point of care with the patient as an active participant. The doctor can now embrace real-time evidence-based medicine while incorporating their instincts into a transparent shared decision making process.
OUTCOME TRACKING IS THE
UNDENIABLE FUTURE OF MEDICINE
Join the scientific revolution in patient care and measure what matters.
The Outcome is Everything.