Patient Alert Fatigue

Posted on April 15, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

On this blog we’ve often covered the concept of physician alert fatigue. It’s a major challenge for EMR software providers to balance the alerts a doctor gets so they don’t just ignore the alerts all together. What makes this even more challenging is that every doctor reaches alert fatigue at a different point. One doctor might get fatigued and stop looking at the alerts very quickly while another doctor can handle a massive number of alerts and not get tired of looking at them.

I’m certain that physician alert fatigue battle will never stop. Although, I recently was introduced to another alert fatigue in healthcare. It is patient alert fatigue. With the growing number of smart phone apps in healthcare, this is going to become an ever growing problem. Soon patients will be getting health alerts from every angle. I expect that most patients are going to get fatigued very quickly.

Plus, like doctors, patients become fatigued at very different points. In fact, the variety of patients that are out there is much more complex than the physician community. This variety makes the challenge of adjusting the patient alert barometer that much harder.

As more and more healthcare institutions start leveraging patient alerts, they’re each going to need to be keenly aware of patient alert fatigue. If the alerts aren’t providing value to the patients quickly, then it won’t matter if you send the alert or not since many patients will stop reading them.