A common complaint we hear often at tradeshows and conferences from hospitalists and providers about list dissatisfaction: “the list making is unfair. I feel like I am seeing more patients than other providers.”
What is hospitalist list dissatisfaction, and why is it relevant to you and your providers? List dissatisfaction refers to the negative feelings a provider has about his or her morning patient assignments. The daily rounding lists can seem unfair (not evenly balanced), not geographically friendly, and don’t consider continuity of care of patients, which makes a physician’s role much more difficult when rounding on patients.
Let’s face it- the manual way of creating patient assignments isn’t efficient anymore and contributes to negative experiences for the hospitalist and the patient. The manual way of creating the morning list is why there is an abundance of physician burnout and unequal workloads.
Are you seeing too many patients per shift?
Most hospitalists are seeing about 2 patients more per shift than they think is reasonable.
“Non-academic hospitalists reported an average of 16.7 patient encounters per shift but said that 14.7 is reasonable. That’s a 14% difference,” according to Today’s Hospitalist.
Admitting a new patient can be extremely time-consuming and is double the work than rounding on a patient that is already admitted to the hospital. Seeing too many patients, or giving one hospitalist all the daily new admits, is the result of a poor or manual patient assignment process.
In a recent study by The National Institutes of Health, they found that “Sustained periods of excessive workload may contribute to increased cognitive stress, frustration, and subsequently burnout.”
Repercussions of hospitalist list dissatisfaction
The effect of physician burnout can have tremendous effects on your organization if it goes untreated. Burnout can directly affect quality of care, which will have an impact on your bottom line. According to this article by JAMA Internal Medicine:
“Up to 98 000 patients die each year in the hospital as a result of preventable medical errors, most errors are caused by well-intentioned individuals working within faulty systems, processes, or conditions. One such condition is excess clinical workload. For resident physicians, workload so heavy as to result in physician fatigue is associated with increased medical errors and has led to the implementation of work-hour restrictions.”
Providers who also feel like they have an unfair workload tend to be less motivated to participate for compensation for performance-based incentive programs.
Manual way of creating the patient rounding list is outdated
The days of creating a complex patient rounding list with pen and paper (or excel) simply can’t keep up with the changing times and demands of today’s hospitals. There are also lesser known costs your organization may be suffering from by not automating this process besides hospitalist list dissatisfaction and burnout. Other costs include:
- Patient safety
- Continuity of care
- Missing revenue opportunities
These costs are going to cause physician and patient dissatisfaction with not only the list, but patient care. For example, when a hospital lacks continuity of care with their patients, length of stay can increase, which directly affects patient flow and access to care. Here is where provider dissatisfaction happens: the previous provider must take time to update the new provider on the patient’s history and status, then repeat it to the new provider, then the patient must meet with the new provider and explain their medical condition again.
With an automated patient assignment solution such as Assign, we can automate the process of creating the daily rounding list, improving physician experiences and reducing burnout and workload complaints.
How Medaptus can help
With Assign, we can help your organization save time by automating your morning patient assignment process. Our solution is built to take into consideration complexity, continuity, and load balancing with 100% accuracy, so your hospital can immediately start operating more efficiently.
In our case study, read how Medaptus helped Beth Israel Deaconess Plymouth improve their morning patient assignment process with a more consistent, balanced list.