ACP urges collaborative action to put patients before paperwork
Internist Adi Puplampu, MD, considers himself a “wounded soldier,” having left the full-time practice of medicine after the strains of day-do-day patient care took a toll on his physical and mental health.
Further reading: Why do women physicians experience burnout more than men?
“I feel like physicians are a dying breed,” Puplampu told colleagues at this year’s American College of Physicians (ACP) conference in San Diego, California. “What is at stake is the health of a nation … and someday, we will all be patients.”
The Wisconsin-based physician, who now serves as a payer consultant, detailed his personal story after a session on alleviating the stress on today’s internists due to mounting administrative tasks and paperwork mandated from insurance companies, government agencies, and others.
“Time is the true asset here [for physicians], but unfortunately money controls that,” Puplampu said. “We need a ground strategy.”
The ACP hopes it has that ground strategy through its new “Patients Before Paperwork Initiative,” identifying the major issues facing internal medicine physicians today and perhaps more importantly, putting in motion an action plan to reduce these excessive administrative burdens.
Developed from a recently published position paper, the association was able to identify the main three administrative stressors for today’s internists: electronic health record (EHR) usability, quality measure reporting and dealing with payers.
To assist physicians, the ACP developed policy recommendations to work with healthcare stakeholders—from insurance companies to health IT firms—to alleviate the burdens facing physicians like Puplampu.