The introduction of advanced health information and communications technologies (HICT) now makes it possible for physicians to practice medicine virtually from almost anywhere on the planet, 24-hours per day, seven days per week. The introduction of the financial incentives in the HITECH Act to promote the meaningful use of electronic health records are now increasing the rate of use of these technologies. There has been very little research performed on how the use of this technology affects the stress level of the clinicians who use it. Too much clinician stress has been shown to adversely impact the quality of care. This application proposes a series of focus groups at two academic and one community hospital the results from which will inform the design of a broader survey of 450 clinicians at these same institutions. This work will identify a list of common stressors and the coping strategies that have been found helpful to mitigate clinician stress caused by HICT use. This work will also explore the relationship between clinician stress and HICT as well as the relationship between clinician stress and identified coping mechanisms.
Advanced information and communications technologies are rapidly making their way into the clinical workspace. There is little known about how the use of these technologies impacts clinician stress, wellbeing, and ultimately the quality of patient care. This project proposes to conduct a series of focus groups and a survey of clinicians using these technologies to attempt to 1) identify specific sources of stress, 2) identify coping strategies clinicians have found helpful to mitigate the stress, and 3) explore the association of clinician stress and the use of these technologies as well as clinician stress and clinician stress coping mechanisms.