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How We Can Use Tech to Fight Burnout

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It is 4 PM on a Friday night and I have 1 more hour until my shift ends before a weekend off. My pager goes off — it is the medical on-call doctor (MOD). There is a 92-year-old female with chronic kidney disease in the emergency department (ED) with low blood pressure and a fever. I am asked to evaluate the patient and admit her to the hospital. I am concerned the patient might be septic, so I grab my Apple iPad mini and briskly walk to the ED — about 5 minutes if the elevators aren’t occupied.

On my walk, I log into Epic’s CANTO mobile app on my iPad mini and review the patient’s vitals, labs, medications, and other pertinent medical history. By the time I reach the ED, I have a pretty good idea of what is going on with the patient before meeting them. After obtaining a history, performing the physical exam, and discussing the next steps, I leave the room and develop a plan. This patient will need antibiotics. I used the VOALTE ME app to securely message the on-call pharmacist to renally dose the antibiotic appropriately.

It is now 4:30 PM and I am back in the team room. I put the orders in for the patient and admit her to our team. Next step is to document a novel of a note in the EMR to share my findings. My typing is mediocre (GWAM 45 at best), so I open up NUANCE PowerMic mobile app on my iPhone and sync it with Dragon in Epic EMR on the desktop PC and verbally dictate my note.

In 2018, speed and accuracy are everything: Dragon is modifying this sentence as I speak to deliver a cogent message, and knows how to spell the drugs that laymen would have difficulty spelling (vancomycin, Augmentin, Unasyn… You get the point). It is now 5 PM, and my patient is successfully admitted to the hospital.

Resident/physician burnout has been a hot topic for years. ACGME addressed concerns of resident exhaustion by enacting duty-hour restriction rules. At institutions such as the University of Kansas Health System, health-care providers are leveraging technology to connect interdisciplinary teams and increase provider efficiency.

This blog was dictated using Dragon dictation.

This blog originally appeared at

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