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Here’s How Many Hours Per Week Physicians Spend on Paperwork in 2016

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Earlier this month, Medscape released its “Physician Compensation Report 2016,”, and according to Carol Peckham over at the publication’s website, the report is based on information collected from “nearly 19,200 physicians in over 26 specialties,” who “disclosed not only their compensation, but also how many hours they work per week, how many minutes they spend with each patient, the most rewarding part of their job, changes to their practice resulting from healthcare reform, and more.”

In our last post, we looked at how many minutes physicians personally spend on average with each patient. This time, we look at the hours per week that physicians spend on paperwork and administration.

This line of questioning was especially important to the Medscape surveyors, since, Peckham writes, “[b]ureaucratic tasks were the prime cause of burnout, according to this year’s Medscape Lifestyle Report (and in previous ones as well). Second was spending too many hours at work.”

And this year’s survey indicates that things aren’t getting any better.

According to Peckham, “In the 2014 report, 35 percent of employed and 26 percent of self-employed physicians spent at least 10 hours per week on paperwork. This year, over half of physicians spent this amount of time (54 percent of self-employed physicians and 59 percent of employed).”

Here’s how the numbers pan out categorically:

Nine percent of self-employed physicians and 12 percent of employed physicians spend 25 or more hours on paperwork each week, while 7 percent of self-employed and 9 percent of employed physicians spend between 20 and 24 hours per week on paperwork.

Ten percent of self-employed physicians and 11 percent of employed physicians spend between 15 and 19 hours on paperwork each week, while 27 percent of both employed and self-employed physicians spend 10 to 14 hours per week on paperwork and administration.

Between five to nine hours are spent on administrative matters each week by 26 percent of self-employed physicians and 24 percent of employed physicians.

Seventeen percent of self-employed physicians and 15 percent of employed physicians spend one to four hours per week on paperwork, and only 3 percent of self-employed physicians and 2 percent of employed physicians spend zero hours on paperwork and administration each week.

As physicians who are looking for jobs, how many hours do you currently spend on administrative matters each week? How many would you like to spend on paperwork and administration in your next job?

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