It was rampant among healthcare providers even before COVID-19. According to two recent surveys, the virus is now raising it to unprecedented levels. A September Medical Economics survey found that 71% of the 934 physicians responding feel burned out, with the greatest factors being concerns about their practice’s financial health (50%), their own or their family’s health (47%) and being unable to care for patients as they would like (41%). Nearly three-quarters say they have considered quitting medicine as a result.
A recent international Medscape survey had similarly dire findings, with about two-thirds of respondents reporting that COVID-19 has increased feelings of burnout while reducing their income. That’s supported by a Kaiser Family Foundation report that 2020 admissions are expected to decline by more than 10%. With cases resurging across most of the U.S., some hospitals are again postponing elective surgeries, which will hurt revenues further.
Facing a shortage of clinicians amid a resurging virus, how can healthcare organizations minimize or prevent burnout and stress among their providers while maximizing revenues? Here are three ways that timely, accurate data and analytics can help.
1. Streamline accurate charge data capture at the point of care
Many hospitals and health systems have moved away from having coders enter the bulk of their charges. Instead, they are using point-of-care solutions that make it easy for physicians and other providers to enter charges using mobile devices. You can lighten clinician workloads with automatic prompts and intelligent code filters.
Furthermore, when emergency departments are caring for COVID-19 inpatients while short-staffed, having intuitive software that helps physicians quickly and accurately record the care they provided can improve the organization’s billing efficiency and increase revenues.
The pandemic has made it more essential than ever for hospitals and physician practices to collect all the revenue they’re earned. Accurate coding at the point of care is critical for preventing undercoding, optimizing coder staffing costs and reducing charge lag. With automatic tools like Ingenious Med’s MasterCoder, you will improve coding speed, accuracy and compliance while reducing coder workload and denials and avoiding additional administrative burden.
2. Use real-time analytics to anticipate burnout and manage physician caseload/assignments
Managing physician assignments and caseload has become far more complex due to the pandemic. Physicians working with COVID-19 patients need reduced caseloads to accommodate the greater complexity of care and longer average length of stay.
Leaders at leading physician practices and at a major southwestern health system use automated COVID-19 identifiers and trackers developed by Ingenious Med to frequently update infected patient volumes by location. That enables them to quickly determine where they need to augment physician staffing to accommodate case surges. Other customers use the Ingenious Med® application dashboards to help identify opportunities to use telemedicine backup to boost clinical staffing.
3. Modify physician compensation models to reflect the reality of caring for COVID patients
After many places experienced significant reductions in procedural and surgical revenues this spring and summer, the resurgence of the virus this fall is creating a sense of deja vu. Our recent white paper describes how leading organizations are helping physicians through this challenge by adapting productivity targets and compensation packages.
Ingenious Med data and analytics enable organizations to easily adjust productivity targets and allow physicians to track their performance against lower compensation targets. These can be adjusted upwards once volumes rebound —hopefully as vaccines become widespread in the near future.
The resurgence of the virus is disheartening, but you can ensure that your health system or hospital is armed with the tools you need to optimally capture revenue while supporting your physicians – and continue providing care to affected patients.