Physicians are some of the most time squeezed professionals on Earth. Whether practicing at a hospital, or as part of a care delivery organization, physicians must keep up to date clinically while they serve their panel of patients. Additionally, many physicians are doing research or have management responsibilities within their organization. Lastly, in order to be a practicing clinician within their organization, these same physicians are required to learn the technology systems used in order to document their clinical encounters (mostly EHRs).
How do most organizations train their physicians? In classrooms watching trainers move through PowerPoint slides while lecturing. Do we want our physicians spending up to 20 hours of their time in classrooms learning to use an administrative system?
Physician staffing shortages are a reality. Utilizing their time for non clinical activities only exacerbates a bad situation. Most believe there are not enough Primary Care Physicians in the U.S. today, and the situation is only getting worse. (See Chart) According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, there were 744,224 licensed and active physicians in the U.S. in 2011. Of those, 208,802 were aged 60 or older. At the same time there were 80,279 enrolled in the 137 accredited U.S. medical schools. Assuming no attrition, medical school graduates transitioning into their clinical residency (3 to 7 years) will average 20,070 per year, fewer than those retiring.
There must be a better way to train physicians then spending the equivalent of 1,875,000 eight hour shifts (750,000 physicians times 20 hours training divided by 8 hours per shift) learning how to properly document a clinical encounter.
Virtual Immersive Learning is one solution. Can you recommend others?