The impact of health innovation on physician well-being

Podcast: The impact of health innovation on physician well-being


Ruth Chang, MD, and Ed Lee, MD, discuss the complex relationship between physicians and technology


Over the last few years, health care has experienced rapid transformation and innovation. These changes have led to the increasing integration of technology into daily medical practices. This evolution brings both benefits and challenges that physicians and medical teams must navigate when caring for patients.

The Medscape Physician Burnout & Depression Report 2023 found that physician burnout rates increased by 6% in 2022, and have increased by 26% since 2018. Depending on how they’re incorporated into clinical settings, technologies have the potential to aid or exacerbate the burnout trend. Physicians can play a pivotal role in ensuring that these new tools and technologies ease administrative burdens on medical staff and improve the quality of patient care.

In this episode of the Permanente Medicine Podcast, host Chris Grant speaks with 2 Permanente physician leaders who are at the center of current well-being and innovation initiatives. They discuss the evolving dynamics of technology and its impact in health care.

  • Ruth Chang, MD, is a family medicine physician and chief people officer for Northwest Permanente in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Chang is also a leading voice for Kaiser Permanente’s equity and diversity efforts.
  • Ed Lee, MD, is an internist and executive vice president for information technology and chief information officer with The Permanente Federation. He also leads and oversees technology initiatives as associate executive director with The Permanente Medical Group.


The challenge is to act nimbly … allowing our physicians to do what they do best, which is to provide compassionate, high-quality care for our patients.

— Ed Lee, MD

We have to address systems, build a culture of wellness, and then also offer programs to support individual wellness.

— Ruth Chang, MD

Drs. Chang and Lee discuss the factors to consider for supporting physician well-being and analyze how it fits in with the tremendous health care innovation that has taken place in recent years. They also examine the transformation of the doctor-patient relationship in the context of remote care and the role medical professionals can play in influencing future innovation.

Related story: “Ruth Chang, MD, shares 4 major signs of clinician burnout

In this episode

2:27 Benefits and challenges of rapid innovation in health care

5:55 Impact of evolving technology on patients

8:18 Warning signs for physician burnout

10:15 Strategies for addressing burnout

11:58 Permanente physician leadership in innovation

15:31 Evolution of doctor-patient relationships with virtual care

18:34 Challenges to keep in mind with virtual care

20:50 The role of physicians and clinical teams in technology innovation

24:26 Future applications of technology and fit with well-being

Connect with Chris Grant on Twitter at @cmgrant, Dr. Chang at @DrtrchangRuth, and Dr. Lee at @edrlee.

Program notes

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