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Physician Misery Index Rising

Published Tuesday Nov 13, 2018

Physician Misery Index Rising

Geneia, a healthcare analytic solutions and services company in Harrisburg, Penn., revealed the latest Physician Misery Index, a tool the company established to measure national physician satisfaction, and the misery level is rising. According to a statement, the index increased to 3.94 out of 5, and in response, invited health information technology companies to join together to restore the joy of medicine.

In a July 2018 nationwide survey of 300 full-time physicians who have been practicing post-residency medicine for more than four years, Geneia found:

  • 87 percent of surveyed physicians say they find it is increasingly harder to spend time “developing an authentic engagement with each patient”
  • 80 percent say they are personally at risk for burnout at some point in their career
  • Nearly all surveyed doctors (96 percent) report they have personally witnessed or personally experienced negative impacts as a result of physician burnout
  • 66 percent say the challenges of practicing medicine in today’s environment have caused them to consider career options outside of clinical practice, an 11 percent increase compared to Geneia’s inaugural survey in January 2015
  • 89 percent say the “business and regulation of healthcare” has changed the practice of medicine for the worse. The intensity of agreement has increased over time; today, 57 percent strongly agree, up from 48 percent in 2015
  • 86 percent agree that “the heightened demand for data reporting to support quality metrics and the business-side of healthcare has diminished my joy in practicing medicine”

Despite increasing awareness has increased from 3.78 to 3.94 out of 5, since the January 2015 physician survey.

Female physicians, in particular, are frustrated by the challenges of practicing medicine and expressed greater dissatisfaction than their male counterparts. Female survey respondents are more likely to know a physician who is likely to stop practicing medicine due to burnout, consider options outside clinical practice at a higher rate, and feel more at risk for burnout.

Geneia’s survey showed physicians continue to be challenged by the electronic health record (EHR).

  • 68 percent of physicians say the data collected by EHRs isn’t being used and analyzed to its full potential
  • 96 percent believe it’s important for EHRs to be better designed so they seamlessly integrate with technology systems used by their office and insurers

“I know from experience that which gets measured gets done,” says Aurel Iuga, MD, MBA, MPH, CMQ, Geneia chief medical officer. “That’s why Geneia is committed to measuring the satisfaction of physicians as a part of onboarding new clients for our analytics and insights platform. Even more importantly, we will survey the physicians who use our products annually to gauge changes in sentiment and work with those doctors to remedy their technology and analytics pain points.”

All health IT companies are invited to join Geneia in monitoring and addressing physician satisfaction and to use the company’s nine-question physician survey. For more information on the Joy of Medicine initiative and to download the physician satisfaction survey, see:

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