Any career that involves connecting with other people is prone to professional burnout. It is very difficult to maintain a sense of self while caring for and supporting others. Increased administrative and productivity-based demands placed on physicians has led to worsening effects of physician burnout.
Increases in burnout rates can lead to negative impacts on both healthcare organizations and providers, including(1):
- Emotional exhaustion
- Depersonalization/distancing behaviors
- Feelings of ineffectiveness
- Lack of personal accomplishment
- Feeling overextended
- Unwilling to sympathize/empathize with patients
- Unable to meet workplace demands
- Diminished quality of care
- Poor patient satisfaction
- Increased medical errors and patient safety events
- Decreased retention/increased turnover
- Substance abuse/suicide
Any one of these elements can expose organizations to potential medical liability claims. Whether the issue is a serious medical mistake, or simply a perceived wrongdoing by a patient, the risk is inherent in any medical practice. While it may seem unreasonable to completely eliminate career burnout, there are tools to help both providers and support personnel help mitigate the risk associated with these issues. With limited investment, organizations can make effective and impactful changes to address and prevent burnout.
One of our professional partners, SE Healthcare, developed a video series(2) about physician burnout. The videos take a look at the range of negative impacts to the healthcare industry for both providers and patients (including financial, clinical, resources, errors, etc.). More importantly, each video provides suggestions on negating the effects of physician burnout at your practice.
SE Healthcare also offers a comprehensive Physician Burnout Prevention Program(4). This program uses a three-pronged approach to address and minimize physician burnout within your organization. The three pillars of the program include:
- The Assessment: A confidential, short survey focused on identifying causes of burnout; uncovers where your physicians are on the burnout continuum; identifies top causes of burnout
- The Dashboard: Provides actionable data to address burnout; includes valuable organizational and work-unit-level data available to leadership; offers individualized reports for physicians
- The Enrichment Center: Curriculum-based learning module; features a complete library of exclusive materials; also includes a video training curriculum
A healthcare provider typically operates in a team-based model, working closely with other clinical office staff. However, this still puts physicians in a silo of sorts, in that daily interaction with other physicians is minimal. This isolation, coupled with the fact that vocational burnout still carries a negative stigma, prevents those who could see the signs and symptoms be comfortable enough to have conversations about workplace stressors(3). The program provides individual training and education on recognition and management of burnout, both within yourself and your colleagues. The program even offers tips on how to approach a colleague in distress.
Uncertainty about whether anything can be done to impact burnout often creates a barrier to action. Despite this trend, there are a number of key actions organizations can take to reduce burnout. SE Healthcare’s program provides leadership with a communication tool to listen to physicians and help uncover underlying issues. The program equips providers with the tools and skills to relieve stress and reduce levels of burnout, thus leading to significant benefits for both the organization and the provider.
Contact us today. We can help you uncover your risk potential based on your current level of organizational burnout. We can also help you easily and immediately implement the Physician Burnout Prevention Program in your practice.