Date night with the EHR (from the VP of Joy)


This is both impressive work and incredibly depressing, and is a clarion call for those in physician informatics. Dr. Christine Sinsky’s piece in the NEJM catalyst is called “Date night with the EHR” and very clearly delineates physician time spent charting in electronic health records. Particularly appalling is the time spent on WEEKEND evenings (red circle) reliving the past week’s worth of left-over work. It is a clear dagger into the heart of physician wellness and key manifestation of physician burnout.

It is for this reason, that Practice Efficiency efforts with EHR optimization Sprints as well as Care Redesign by re-configuring clinical teams in clinics are gaining traction. It is for this reason that hospitals and clinics are taking a hard look at improving their Culture of Wellness. It is for this reason that organizations are investing in Physician Resilience programs.

And, the American Medical Association now has a Vice President, Professional Satisfaction, or as Dr. Sinsky calls herself: “The VP of Joy.” what an awesome title.

CMIO’s take? It is about time. Could this be the inflection point where silently suffering physicians begin to see hopefulness on the horizon? Physician Informaticists have long been at the bleeding edge of this work and the cultural traction is gratifying. March on, colleagues!

Author: CT Lin

CMIO, UCHealth (Colorado); Professor, University of Colorado School of Medicine

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