LIS Webinar Recap - How to Beat Pathologist Burnout and Combat Staffing Shortages
November 21, 2023
One down and many more planned.
That was the collective feeling after Suren Avunjian, Petros Martirosian, and I wrapped up a LigoLab webinar focused on how modern laboratory information system (LIS) solutions can help beat pathologist burnout and laboratory staffing shortages.
It was said during the webinar and I’ll repeat it here. We’re all very excited to bring you more webinars like these, ones that will provide an open forum and help you and your colleagues better understand how implementing modern technologies can help clinical laboratories efficiently scale their operations and drive staff satisfaction. We’ve already started to plan the next webinar, so standby for more information on that as we plan to make an official announcement in the coming days.
Addressing Pathologist Burnout, its Causes, and its Consequences
We opened the webinar by clearly establishing that pathologist burnout and a lack of qualified medical laboratory technologists are two serious interrelated issues that all pathology labs face daily.
We highlighted a 2020 poll conducted by the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) that showed 71.4 percent of practicing pathologists had experienced burnout symptoms in the past and that nearly 33 percent reported burnout as something that was affecting them currently. The poll also identified what was causing so much workplace stress, including the lack of autonomy, bureaucracy related to regulatory and compliance issues, challenges with laboratory systems like LISs and EHRs, volatility in the marketplace in the forms of mergers and acquisitions, workload, isolation, a lack of qualified staff, and support staff turnover. Add all this to the constant pressure to deliver accurate case results and short turnaround times and you can see why the problem exists and how it raises the likelihood of a mistake that could lead to severe consequences for the pathologist, his or her practice, and the patient.
The Role of Advanced Technology and LIS Automation
Next, we heard from Suren, who relayed some sobering numbers that showed just how serious the problem has become.
“With over 1,000 pathologist job openings on the market, only 500 or so are entering the workforce each year,” he said. “Practicing pathologists are overburdened with case volumes, and the burnout rate is among the highest in the medical field.”
Suren continued by saying pathologist burnout is a multi-faceted issue that requires a comprehensive approach to address it effectively, starting with the simplification of pathology workflows.
“By simplifying pathologists’ daily work as much as possible and adding automation to remove the redundant steps and clicks that are performed hundreds of times a day, advanced pathology lab software can significantly impact productivity and, more importantly, job satisfaction.”
Suren recommended a proactive approach shared by both the lab and LIS system vendors to reduce burnout rates and improve overall job satisfaction and staff well-being.
After that, he updated listeners on the recent steps LigoLab has taken to improve its LIS software.
“We recently hired top UI and UX researchers and designers to continue our commitment to improving the product and the industry,” he said. “We also are conducting extensive pathology software user research with dozens of pathologists within our client advisory group and laboratory staff to take the solution to the next level by Q4 of this year. Our goal is to improve the user interface further and reduce the cognitive load on the user base.”
Out of the Box LIS System Solutions that Minimize Clicks
Suren finished his remarks and then introduced Petros, who led the audience through a video demonstration of how the LIS system removes redundancy and helps pathologists sign-out cases faster. His demonstration included basic anatomic pathology case scenarios like:
- Sign-out with a diagnosis template
- Sign-out with a camera
- Sign-out without a camera
- Sign-out while using dictation software
Petros closed the video demonstration by entering a case result and then releasing that case without a single mouse click.
Interactive Q&A and Key LIS Medical Software Takeaways
Upon the conclusion of the LIS software demonstration, the audience engaged in a Q&A with Suren and Petros. Several follow-up questions were asked, including how LigoLab Informatics Platform interacts with dictation software, and if a future LIS webinar could dive deeper into how these two software systems complement each other.
From there, we closed the webinar with what we believe to be the key takeaways for those who attended.
- The impacts of pathologist burnout and staffing shortages are widespread in the industry.
- Modern LIS software and automation can streamline and improve overall laboratory performance.
- An efficient user interface can increase productivity for pathologists.
- It’s possible to result and release a case without a single mouse click.
- A viable long-term solution to what’s causing the stress is within reach.
We also suggested that all attendees share the Petros video demonstration shown earlier with their colleagues, and noted that we are very interested in hearing suggestions for future webinar topics.
Have a topic for a future LIS webinar? Then suggest it here at Info@LigoLab.com.
Ready for your pathology reporting software demonstration tailored to address the specific needs of your practice? Then contact us (see below) to set up a quick call.