The role of physicians in the healthcare system cannot be overstated. Besides diagnosing and treating patients, they also provide advice and support to help people maintain their health. In recent years, physicians have been calling for systemic changes in order to address challenges preventing them from providing the best care possible and personal well-being. These challenges include high patient loads, limited time for each patient, and overwhelming paperwork and administrative tasks.
In this blog, we take a look at the challenges faced by physicians in their daily workflow, how these challenges impact patient care, and what is being done to change systemic factors. We will also discuss the role of healthcare institutions and policymakers in supporting these changes and the potential benefits for both physicians and patients. In order to improve the overall healthcare system for all stakeholders involved, it is crucial to pay attention to medical professionals and take their calls for change seriously.
Physicians are under a tremendous amount of pressure in their daily workflow. They are responsible for seeing a high number of patients, often with limited time for each individual. In turn, this can make it difficult for them to fully listen to and address the concerns and needs of their patients, leading to decreased quality of care. In addition to the high patient load, physicians also have to contend with a large amount of paperwork and number of administrative tasks. This can include filling out forms, writing notes and reports, and managing electronic medical records. There is no doubt that these tasks can be time-consuming and take away from the time physicians have for their patients.
Physicians are also challenged by a lack of resources and support. A large number of physicians work long hours, and they do not have an abundance of support staff, such as nurses and medical assistants available to them. In the long run, they struggle with their workload to provide the best care possible given the amount of work they have. In addition to that, many physicians may not be able to access the latest technologies and equipment, which can also affect their ability to provide high-quality care to their patients.
In the face of the challenges mentioned above, providing the best possible care to patients can be affected negatively. In cases where physicians are overburdened with a high caseload and have limited time to spend with each patient, they may not be able to fully listen to and address the concerns and needs of their patients. As a result, patients may receive lower-quality care, and may not receive a thorough diagnosis or treatment as a consequence.
Additionally, long wait times can be frustrating for patients and can make it difficult for them to get the care that they need in a timely manner. And this problem can be particularly challenging for patients with chronic conditions or serious illnesses who may require more frequent or timely care.
There is widespread evidence that physicians face high levels of stress and workload, which can also contribute to burnout and dissatisfaction among physicians. A situation such as this may adversely affect the general morale and well-being of physicians, which can have a negative impact on the quality of care they are able to provide as a result.
Physicians have been asking for systemic changes in order to improve their workflow in order to make sense of the challenges that they have been facing, as well as the overall system of healthcare. The following are some of the specific changes that are being advocated for:
Better support staff: A number of physicians have called for more support staff, such as nurses and medical assistants, in order to help alleviate the workload and provide additional assistance to their patients. Increasing residency spots and government practice-ready assessment programs to license more foreign-trained physicians and support staff.
Electronic medical records: Many physicians have called for the adoption of well-designed electronic medical records (EMRs), which can streamline the process of managing patient records and reduce the amount of paperwork.
Hospice beds and palliative care services are needed to improve patient experience, support caregivers, and reduce emergency room pressure.
Create Integrated Ambulatory Facilities for less complicated outpatient procedures and surgeries to reduce hospital workload and wait times.
More efficient processes: Physicians have also requested more efficient processes and systems, such as standardized protocols and better scheduling, in order to reduce the time spent on administrative tasks and improve patient care.
Both doctors and patients would gain from putting these ideas into practice. More support workers and more effective procedures can assist ease the workload for doctors and lower their risk of stress and burnout. This could enhance doctors' general well-being and happiness, which would result in improved patient care.
In the long run, these changes can improve patient care and result in shorter waiting times. Using an electronic medical record system makes it easier for physicians to access and review patient records, thereby resulting in more accurate diagnoses and treatment plans for patients. As more efficient processes can also help reduce wait times and improve access to care.
In order to implement effective systemic change in the healthcare system, it is important for healthcare institutions and policymakers in Canada to listen to and collaborate with physicians. This involves understanding the challenges they face and the specific changes they are advocating for and working together to find solutions that can benefit both physicians and patients.
One way healthcare institutions can support systemic change is by investing in better support staff and technologies. This can include hiring more nurses and medical assistants, as well as implementing electronic medical records and other technologies that can streamline processes and improve efficiency.
Policymakers also have a role to play in supporting systemic change. This can involve creating policies and regulations that encourage the general adoption of electronic medical records and complementary technologies such as Tali AI, as well as providing funding for healthcare institutions to make these investments. It is also important for policymakers to work with physicians and healthcare institutions to identify and address any problems that are preventing systemic change, such as legal and regulatory issues that make it difficult to implement changes.
Nonetheless, there have been successful initiatives in Canada that have been able to implement a systemic change for improving the workflow and quality of care for physicians and patients. One example is the adoption of electronic medical records by the province of Alberta. Electronic medical records have been used in Alberta's healthcare system for several years and have proved useful in reducing physician workload and improving care quality.
A second example is the adoption of a patient-centered primary care model in Ontario. The patient-centered primary care model emphasizes collaboration between physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals, and has been successful in improving the efficiency and quality of care in the province.
While healthcare institutions and policymakers have a significant role to play in supporting systemic change in the healthcare system, patients also have a role to play in advocating for and supporting these changes.
One way patients can support systemic change is by being proactive in their own healthcare. This can involve staying informed about their own health and medical conditions, and advocating for their own needs and concerns. Patients can also take an active role in their own care by participating in decisions about their treatment and management, and by following their treatment plans as prescribed by their physicians.
Patients can also support systemic change by advocating for changes that will benefit both themselves and other patients. This can involve advocating for better access to care, improved quality of care, and more efficient processes. As patients, they can do this by participating in advocacy organizations and by speaking out about their experiences and concerns.
It is clear that physicians are facing a number of challenges in their daily workflow that can impact the quality of care they are able to provide. These challenges include high patient loads, limited time for each patient, and overwhelming paperwork and administrative tasks. In order to address these challenges and improve the healthcare system for all stakeholders, physicians have been calling for systemic change. This includes changes such as better support staff, electronic medical records, and more efficient processes.
In order to support these changes, it is important for healthcare institutions and policymakers to listen to and collaborate with physicians. Patients also have a role to play in advocating for and supporting these changes, by being proactive in their own healthcare and advocating for changes that will benefit both themselves and other patients.