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Acad Psychiatry. 2018 Oct;42(5):648-652. doi: 10.1007/s40596-018-0939-x. Epub 2018 May 21.

Exploring the Association Between Electronic Health Record Use and Burnout Among Psychiatry Residents and Faculty: a Pilot Survey Study.

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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.



Burnout is a phenomenon with profound negative effects on the US healthcare system. Little is known about the relationship between time spent working on electronic health record (EHR) and burnout among psychiatry residents. The purpose of this study is to generate preliminary data on EHR use and burnout among psychiatry residents and faculty.


In August 2017, psychiatry residents and faculty at an academic medical center were given the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), a standardized measurement tool for burnout, and a survey of factors related to EHR use and potential risk factors for burnout. MBI data along with selected burnout risk and protective factors were analyzed with R Studio software.


Responses were obtained from 40 psychiatry residents (73%) and 12 clinical faculty members (40%). Residents reported 22 h per week using EHR on average. Mean score of residents surveyed in postgraduate year (PGY)-1-4 met criteria for high emotional exhaustion associated with burnout. The magnitude of correlation between EHR use and emotional exhaustion was stronger than for other burnout factors including sleep, exercise, and clinical service.


Psychiatry residents show signs of high emotional exhaustion, which is associated with burnout. Results demonstrate a strong positive correlation between EHR use and resident burnout. Time spent on EHR use may be an area of importance for psychiatry program directors and other psychiatric educators to consider when seeking to minimize burnout and promote wellness.


Burnout; Electronic health record; Job satisfaction; Psychiatrist burnout; Psychiatry residency training

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