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Can a top-tier EMR system help cut the risk of physical therapist burnout?

Most of us have experienced some type of burnout before. Whether it be from work, school or something different, burnout is still a prevalent topic of discussion. In the world of physical therapy, it can lead to decreases in your practice’s organizational costs and performance.

There are three specific subtypes of burnout that are recognized by academics. These include emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and lack of personal accomplishment.

An electronic medical record (EMR) system is a digital copy of a patient’s medical information, and it can be used by medical and health care providers to store clinical notes and other important data. Keep reading to learn more about why a top-tier EMR system, like AgileEMR, can help cut the risk of physical therapist burnout.

What are some reasons for PT burnout?

Listed below are some of the main reasons employees report feeling run down at work:

  • Lack of communication with managerial staff — Poor communication in the workplace can be frustrating for physical therapists. According to a Gallup poll, workers are less likely to experience long-term work exhaustion when they maintain good relationships with their managers.
  • Pressure from deadlines — Employees who report being subjected to frequent and unreasonable deadlines are more likely to experience work fatigue. Gallup reports that workers are 70% less likely to feel this fatigue when they have fewer time constraints at work.
  • Overwhelming workload — In many cases, when employees are faced with an unmanageable workload, this can be detrimental to their workplace performance. 
  • Unclear job expectations — Employees who have managers who clearly outline job duties and expectations are less likely to experience burnout.
  • Mistreatment at work — Workers who suffer mistreatment on the job, like improper compensation and discrimination, are more likely to feel run down.
  • Cost of education — Oftentimes, physical therapists are left reeling from the costs of their education, which is a big contributor to PT burnout.


What are some of the effects of employee burnout?

According to the Gallup poll mentioned above, there are several different effects of employee burnout that could potentially be detrimental to an employer. Below are some of the negative effects that burnout had on a sampling of 7,500 employees in the study. These results have serious implications for the work world and how burnout affects employee performance in a broader sense. Some of the effects the Gallup poll lists include: 

  • Employees are 63% more likely to take a sick day.
  • Workers are half as likely to discuss how to approach performance goals with their manager.
  • Workers are 23% more likely to visit the emergency room.
  • Employees are 2.6 times as likely to leave their current employer.
  • Workers are 13% less confident in their performance.


Why should your practice be helping your physical therapists avoid burnout?

If you’re a physical therapy practice owner, your physical therapists are a major part of what keeps your practice functioning. It is important for you to help your physical therapists avoid burnout for several reasons; listed below are a few examples:

  • It is entirely preventable — Burnout is never a foregone conclusion. There are many steps your practice can take to help reduce the chances of physical therapist burnout. For instance, your practice can regularly check in with your physical therapists to talk about their workload. As part of this process, you can then monitor your employees for signs of burnout and adjust their schedules if necessary. 
  • It aids in the betterment of your practice — Workers who are burnt out are far too likely to have difficulty doing their best work. And your practice will need the best efforts of your physical therapists if it is to improve and grow. 
  • It allows for the best return on your investment — Your practice is making a significant investment every time you hire a physical therapist. Physical therapists who have reached burnout are typically less productive, which means you won’t be getting the best return on your investment in them.


How can EMR systems help avoid burnout in the future?

EMR systems can be great tools to help avoid employee burnout because they promote efficient employee management. These systems optimize workplace performance by facilitating an environment of wellness.


How can EMR systems help physical therapists who are feeling burnt out? 

Studies suggest that burnout is prevalent among physical therapists. EMR systems are a particularly helpful option for work-weary physical therapists because they promote organizational functionality within a practice, eliminating the need to spend extra time filing paperwork and completing charts, documentation, and other office tasks that pile up throughout the week. 


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AgileEMR is a proven practice management software solution designed for therapists by therapists. We officially launched our software in 2013 to address the pain points that physical therapists and clinicians often run into with generic clinical EMR systems: None of them were designed specifically with physical therapy in mind. We worked closely with physical therapists when developing our physical therapy software to ensure that it meets the demands of this unique field of health care. Since our launch, AgileEMR has been used in more than 1 million patient cases by both large and small providers in the outpatient therapy and hospital rehabilitation sectors.


If you’re the owner of your own physical therapy practice and you’re researching EMR systems, look no further. We have the answers for you. Contact our team today for more information or to schedule a demo to see how we can help your practice.