Skip to the main content.
Talk to sales Start for free
Talk to sales Start for free

2 min read

The impact of email on clinician workload

The impact of email on clinician workload

Clinicians often find email a convenient way to streamline certain tasks, like providing quick consultations or coordinating care with colleagues, which would otherwise take a lot of time. However, managing many emails during the workday can be challenging and time-consuming. Still, with proper handling, clinicians can maintain a balance that ensures accessible communication without overwhelming inboxes.


Possible negative impacts of using email on clinician workloads

Communication requirements often increase the volume of interactions clinicians must manage daily, straining their available time and resources. This surge can result in longer working hours and reduced time for direct patient care. Additionally, the need to promptly respond to various forms of communication, including emails, calls, and electronic health record messages, can disrupt clinicians' workflow and decrease overall efficiency. 

The constant influx of information requires clinicians to frequently switch tasks, potentially leading to higher stress levels and burnout. The administrative burden of documenting and managing these communications can also detract from clinicians' time to engage in continuous medical education and other professional development activities. 

See also: HIPAA Compliant Email: The Definitive Guide


The benefits of using email on clinician workloads

Using email benefits clinician workloads by enhancing efficiency and flexibility in communication. It allows clinicians to manage and prioritize their responses to inquiries on their schedule, reducing the need for immediate, often disruptive, phone calls or in-person meetings. Email also streamlines the referral process and coordination of care with other healthcare professionals, saving valuable time that clinicians would otherwise spend in direct communication. Moreover, quickly disseminating and receiving critical information, updates, and guidelines via email contributes to more informed and timely decision-making in patient care. The digital nature of email facilitates better organization and tracking of communication, which is necessary for maintaining comprehensive patient records and ensuring continuity of care. 

See also: How to develop a HIPAA email retention policy


Strategies to manage email workload in healthcare

  • Set specific times for email check: Designate certain times of the day exclusively for checking and responding to emails to minimize constant interruptions.
  • Use email filters and folders: Implement filters and organize emails into specific folders for easier prioritization and access.
  • Utilize template responses: Develop and use pre-written templates for frequent types of inquiries, saving time on repetitive responses.
  • Flag and categorize: Make use of flagging and categorizing features in the email system to highlight emails that need timely follow-up.
  • Delegate when appropriate: Forward emails that other team members can address to distribute the workload evenly.
  • Set expectations for response time: Clearly communicate expected email response times to colleagues and patients to manage the urgency of replies.
  • Employ task management tools: Integrate email with task management tools or systems to keep track of tasks and deadlines.
  • Practice inbox zero: Regularly clean out the inbox to maintain focus on current and emails, archiving or deleting what is no longer needed.
  • Educational sessions on email management: Attend or organize workshops and training sessions on effective email management techniques.

See also: 5 email marketing stats for healthcare providers



Subscribe to Paubox Weekly

Every Friday we'll bring you the most important news from Paubox. Our aim is to make you smarter, faster.