Saving Time Playbook - icon

Physician burnout is an epidemic in the U.S. health care system, with 44% of physicians reporting signs of burnout such as emotional exhaustion and depersonalization at least once per week. The significant time spent on non–patient-facing tasks in the clinician’s workday contributes heavily to burnout.

"While burnout manifests in individuals, it originates in systems. — Christine Sinsky, MD

Saving Time Playbook

Access key STEPS, best practices and resources for the adoption and scale of time-saving solutions.

This Saving Time Playbook is for:

  • Practicing physicians who are aspiring change agents
  • Medical directors
  • Practice managers
  • Nurse managers
  • Operations leaders
  • C-suite executives

Anyone interested in process improvement, timesaving workflows, efficiency of practice and physician well-being can benefit from the content outlined and linked to within this playbook.

This playbook contains highlights from nine AMA STEPS Forward™ toolkits across three strategies.

Strategy one: Stop doing unnecessary work

This section will help you save time by: 

  • Eliminating unnecessary tasks and duplicative work.
  • Streamlining prescribing and management of prescriptions for chronic illnesses.
  • Optimizing aspects of the EHR for physicians and care teams.

Strategy two: Incorporate practice fundamentals

This section will help you save time by:

  • Using the current visit to prepare for the next.
  • Working as a team to increase efficiency of rooming and discharge.
  • Documenting the visit as a team.

Strategy three: Make the case to leadership

This section will help you save time by:

  • Identifying key messages to convey to organizational leaders to help them understand the value of physicians’ time.
  • Providing simple calculators to make your case.

Take the next steps on the journey with the AMA STEPS Forward™ Practice Innovation resources and assets.

Use the 5-pronged approach (Act, Recognize, Measure, Convene, Research) as your guide, employ evidence-based, field-tested and targeted solutions to optimize practice efficiencies, reduce burnout and improve professional well-being.

Learn about the AMA STEPS Forward™ Playbook series, the AMA STEPS Forward™ practice innovation strategies, and the AMA Professional Satisfaction and Practice Sustainability Group.

Download the Saving Time Playbook (PDF) to access key STEPS, best practices and resources for the adoption and scale of time-saving solutions.


Saving Time Playbook authors: Jill Jin, MD, MPH; Jessica Reimer, PhD; Marie Brown, MD, MACP; Christine Sinsky, MD, MACP

AMA STEPS Forward™ also acknowledges the following additional authors of the toolkits referenced in the Saving Time Playbook for their contributions: Melinda Ashton, MD (Getting Rid of Stupid Stuff); Kevin Hopkins, MD (Patient Portal Optimization); James Jerzak, MD (EHR In-Basket Restructuring for Improved Efficiency); Margaret Lozovatsky, MD (Patient Portal Optimization); James Rice, MD, MHA (Patient Portal Optimization).

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