The world is going through a scourge of massive physicians burnout which put the lives of millions visiting them for treatment, vulnerable to getting subpar quality of treatment and care.
Yes, physician burnout is an actual thing. When a physician is under so much stress that they are unable to get over yesterday’s tiredness and bring that to the present, this is burnout. Affecting up to 50% of the population, Mayo Clinic reported that physician burnout drastically increased from 2011 to 2014.
The state of being emotionally, mentally and physically exhausted because of continuously working in a chronically stressful environment leads to the burnout. Burnout doesn’t mean you stop attending the patients; it means the individual is so physically and mentally exhausted yet they choose to serve their patient which can have repercussions.
This is why it is essential to keep your medical staff free of the administrative duties so that they can better concentrate on their patients and dispense quality treatment and care. This is why consulting a revenue cycle management agency is advisable, as they are trained and experienced to ensure that the financial health of a healthcare practice stays in the best shape with a minimum claim denial, maximum revenue generation, and quicker insurance reimbursements.
What are the reasons behind physician burnout?
Per a survey conducted by the American Medical Association, in 2017, administrative burden, long-standing hours and lack of time are the significant contributing reason for the physician burnout in the country.
Following are some of the reasons that have been reported to cause physician burnout:
- Too much workload:
Physicians that are working long hours or have to see too many patients in a day or be on many night calls tend to have more work dissatisfaction. When physicians are unable to balance their work and life, it is naturally going to frustrate them to the point of burnout. While we understand that physician job is demanding and more strenuous but don’t they need rest to serve the patients better?
- Incompetent supervisor:
Just like every profession, job satisfaction of a physician is directly related to hope your boss manages the hospital. Having an unskilled, non-motivating supervisor who always finds a way to humiliate them is another burnout reason that is becoming a significant source of stress for many physicians.
- Increasing EHR administrative complexities:
EHR is a helpful tool for physicians and medical staffs to keep their patient’s data centralized for easy accessibility. But EHR, when created, didn’t take into consideration the future need for interoperability. Furthermore having to comply with the standard requirements of the EHR system, rules and regulations, add to the administrative intricacies, which wastes significant time that otherwise would have been invested in patient care.
- Loss of clinical autonomy:
If the physicians are made to feel like they have no control over how many patients they see, how much work should they do,what all steps they should take to comply with the government regulations this loss of control and flexibility will lead to passivity.
How to identify physician burnout?
Physician burnout doesn’t differ from country to country; it is a global problem that needs a global solution. But devising a potent measure to combat patient burnout will start from identifying the signs and symptoms of burnout which are:
If your work no longer interests you because you do not have the energy to deal with it, physically, mentally and emotionally; what you are experiencing is exhaustion.
- CALLOUS BEHAVIOR:
If instead of being empathetic you are slowly becoming sarcastic, apathetic and feel the need to vent out to everyone including the patient sitting on the chair, then you are experiencing burnout. An increasingly negative outlook with the feeling of being trapped in a place, coming out as snapping onto people signals you need a time-out.
The lack of interest and exhaustion leads to you thinking that you are not performing up to the mark, This self-doubt on efficacy is a clear sign that the physician is burnout and might someday risk either their job or some’ health because of it. Withdrawing from responsibilities, procrastinating, isolating yourself from others are indications of burnout.
How physician burnout impact the entire healthcare organization?
- The impact of physician burnout is profound and can be detrimental to the overall healthcare organization. Burnout has a massive effect on the entire healthcare system from the physician’s well being to the patient’s care to the reputation and revenue of the healthcare practice.
- The detachment and apathy on the part of the physician lead to poor patient experience.
- The self-doubt of low personal accomplishment leads to dissatisfaction which will impact the quality of the care being dispensed to the patient.
- The exhaustion can lead to medical and severe safety errors, which will have a negative impact on the effectiveness of the clinic.
What strategies can be implemented to minimize it?
- When physicians will be physical, emotionally and mentally sound then only will the patient and healthcare organization be healthy, right?
- A physician should take significant time out for decompressing their body and mind, to reconnect with their loved ones.
- Healthcare practices should promote clinical communication and strategize the administrative task in a way that provides them the much-needed work-life balance.
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