Tech is often blamed for physician burnout—but it could also provide the cure

Technology is often to blame for physician burnout, but one doctor explains it could also be a solution to the problem.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has partnered with Microsoft in an effort to use artificial intelligence to help cure physician burnout, Rasu Shrestha, M.D., the medical center’s chief innovation officer, said during a Physicians Practice podcast.

It’s certainly a different take on technology, since electronic health records (EHRs) are often blamed for increasing physicians’ workload and stress. "Technology, in large part, tends to still be an impediment," Shrestha says. "As a clinician by training, I can tell you, we often see technology as a hurdle. It helps in the things we're trying to do, but we have to tolerate it."

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That view might be about to change, he says. The strategic partnership will look at how using artificial intelligence and machine-learning capabilities might enable better medical care.

But he doesn’t think artificial intelligence and other technologies will ever replace physicians. Instead, he says that doctors will leverage technology to help them become better clinicians.