What Does Physician Self Care Look Like During Covid-19?

As the coronavirus pandemic persists, doctors’ need for self care continues to skyrocket. You may be encouraging your patients to take extra-good care of themselves in these challenging times, but do you practice what you preach?  

The unfortunate reality of a high stress, high stakes healthcare profession is that doctors don’t always practice what they know is best. You might advise your patients to follow simple self care practices – exercising regularly, eating healthily, getting plenty of sleep – but demanding work schedules keep you from following your own advice. 

Beating Back Burnout

Personal and professional self-care are proven ways to combat burnout. However, you might find it impossible to step away from the office if tasks are left undone or loose ends remain. AI scribe technology aims to free up time for doctors’ self care and enable them to do what’s most important: serving patients. Better yet, the time spent serving patients can be enhanced by a robust self-care routine. 

For some, personal self-care may involve getting outside for a walk and for others it might mean focusing on a creative activity. Professional self-care could mean finding work peers and mentors, pursuing organizational development opportunities, or reflecting on one’s skills. Whatever your self care practice — personal or professional — it’s important to give yourself time to connect with yourself and your community to re-energize. 

Self Care, Documentation, and AI

A primary goal of AI scribe technology is to reduce the burden of note taking and tedious documentation. AI scribes do the hard work for you in a way that medical transcription services — or even an in-person medical scribe — never could. With the time-savings they get back from medical scribe software, many of our doctors are investing more time into self care. They know it's important not only for themselves but for the patients they serve. As Dr. Patel puts it, “If your brain is in a rut, you may not be making the best decisions. DeepScribe has given me the time to take care of myself - so that I can take care of my patients.”

Although there have been advances in medical transcription software, there remains an urgent need to address inefficiencies and free up burdensome administrative heavy lifting. Medical transcription companies still require doctors to spend copious amounts of time integrating the notes with their EHRs. Rather than alleviating doctors from the burden of note-taking, dictation-transcription tools create more work in its place. AI scribes are the advanced alternative to clunky and outdated dictation software. All the time saved by AI scribes will allow for a more authentic and focused patient interaction. Knowing that you’ve had meaningful visits with your patients will give you the piece of mind to practice self-care and avoid burnout. 

According to Bernacki et. al, in the article “Caring for oneself to care for others: physicians and their self-care,” burnout and frustration can occur from work overload and having the bulk of one's time at work spent on tasks inconsistent with one's career goals.

“Self-care strategies exist in both the personal and professional realms with proven benefits in mitigating the effects of burnout, compassion fatigue, and moral distress,” according to Bernacki et. al. Freeing up time to spend connecting with colleagues or taking care of one’s self is worth the investment.  

DeepScribe’s AI medical scribe saves doctors as much as three hours a day on medical documentation. That’s three hours that doctors can spend doing more of the things they love. DeepScribe plans to lead the way from physician burnout to balance — what’s your self-care activity of choice? 

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