Medical Practice Transformation, Primary Care
Background: The utilization of MyChart messaging has improved the accessibility of primary care with the convenience and flexibility of communication. However, providers receive little reimbursement despite an increased workload from patient advice request messages. Female primary care providers receive more medical questions and experience a higher in-basket workload. Increased time spent on the EHR is correlated with increased provider burnout rates. Thus, the larger EHR burden on female providers exacerbates burnout rates and the gender-based wage gap in primary care.
Methods: Signal data from Epic was obtained from primary care providers who received patient medical advice requests. This data were analyzed using excel.
Key Results: Female providers received more patient medical advice request messages than non-female providers (mean-Female(F) = 68.28 messages, mean-Non-Female (NF) = 49.22 messages, p=0.005) and spent more active time in their in-baskets (mean-F=1.85 mins/day, mean-NF=1.35 mins/day, p=0.006). Female and non-female providers had equivalent turnaround times for these messages (mean-F= 2.61 days, mean-NF = 2.25 days, p=0.68). Staff handling of messages did not differ between female and nonfemale providers.
Discussion: Female-identifying providers receive significantly more patient medical advice question messages and a have a subsequent larger message workload than their male colleagues. Future analysis should include providers’ patient demographics to identify correlations between higher message load and patient panels. Workflow support and patient messaging guidelines should be considered to alleviate the unpaid workload associated with higher message volume.
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Karpowicz, Kristen; Scholes, Julianne; Jacobs, Alicia MD; McEntee, Rachel MD; and Sandoval, Marie MD, "Primary Care Provider MyChart Patient Advice Request Message Gender-Specific Workload at the University of Vermont Health Network" (2023). UVM AHEC. 6.