Over half of physicians report they are experiencing burnout. One in three physicians is depressed. Most likely, the figure will increase to 70% upfront, regardless of the specialty. The reasons for this are many, including increased demand for service, bureaucratic tasks, high pressures to meet quality & safety metrics, changes happening in the healthcare industry, so on and so forth. Over time, this takes a serious toll on the healthcare industry.
With physician burnout taking swift rife in the industry, addressing this issue has become a top concern for healthcare practices. It impacts the patient satisfaction, quality of care delivered, productivity and other malpractice suits. Physician burnout is not a matter of undergoing the treatment; you have to take appropriate steps to combat the problem from its root level.
Preventing Physician Burnout
How to prevent burnout? The following are a few strategies that help healthcare practices understand physician burnout and mitigate further detriment to physicians and patients.
Equip Physicians with the Right Tools
The healthcare systems, regulatory policies, and payment models contribute more to physician burnout. What you can do is to give them the right tools to increase resilience to stress, improve performance and take better care of themselves and patients. Adopt a metric to measure the improvement over time and track the progress time-to-time to ensure you are making the right investments. This way you can combat work stress while increasing patient satisfaction, safety, and retention.
Refine your Delivery Approaches
Making simple, but impactful changes to delivery approaches can reduce hassles and makes easy to practice medicine. Identify the best practices in various clinics and healthcare practices and implement the same for your practice. Be sure the practices, if implemented, should improve efficiency and deliver the highest quality of care. As you evaluate new initiatives and practices, you should also understand their impact on health care practices before you put them in place.
Invest in Technology the Right Way
Increasingly, physicians spend more time on administrative activities such as patient intake forms, prior authorizations, and billing compliance. Therefore, the systems you put in place should be physician-centric that can help reduce the administrative burden, make care reporting easier and minimize physician burnout. Choosing the right EHR can help eliminate time-consuming administrative tasks and will cut down the majority of data entry work.
As not all EHRs are the same, choosing the systems with structured data & inbuilt automated reporting procedures can be of greater help rather than being a hindrance to practice. Touch-based data entry and built-in medical coding are the key things that can save your time and help physicians get their work done faster.
Choose the Right EHR
Quality care is of primary importance for healthcare practices with MACRA. Your EHR system should allow you to track analytics, analyze clinical performance, and provide actionable insights to practitioners to drive excellence and quality of care within the practices. At the core, EHR systems should be built with specific specialty workflows. It is physician responsibility to choose the specialty specific EHR system that meets their practice specifications and requirements. However, choosing an intelligent system can combat physician burnout to a great extent.
Working on tasks you find more satisfying can result in less burnout. So, identify your less-enjoyable tasks and assign to your care team, so that the total amount of work you do gets reduced. Allowing your team to recommend and implement their ideas in a structured manner will ensure effectiveness and stability.
In addition, engaging your patients by spending more time with them, work-life balance, and finding time for relaxation can have a positive impact on reducing physician burnout.
The bottom line…
Identifying sources of stress and adapting interventional approaches can help reduce burnout and promote wellness. Making simple changes to your practice workflow and implementing new actions can reverse and prevent burnout over time. Preventing burnout is no rocket science, filling the gaps within the practice and actively building a less stressful workplace can combat physician burnout altogether.