How to Prevent Physician Burnout

Though we live in an age where modern medicine and the technology surrounding its delivery are more advanced than ever before, that innovation has come at a price – physicians are experiencing tremendous burnout.

Whether from excessive clerical work, elevated standards, pressure to perform and more, physicians are faltering and failing to achieve recovery and work-life balance.

This burnout has obvious negative impacts for both patients and physicians, themselves, making it critical that solutions are found and implemented.

But how?

The Burden of Clerical Work

While EHR systems and other forms of clerical automation in practices are aimed at making the experience for both medical professionals and patients better, physicians who spend an inordinate amount of time entering orders, patient information and more into these systems can experience greater burnout.

Easing Physician Burnout-01

Basically, throwing clerical duty on top of an already stressful and high-stakes profession only amplifies the effects of that profession, leaving physicians under a pile of work that feels never-ending.

The Natural Stressors of Medical Work

While data entry and EHR use can contribute to burnout, physicians also have a lot of natural stressors that are simply part of their chosen field.

Physicians are constantly told to put the patient first and to have appropriate bedside manner – while these are certainly admirable and lofty ideals, they can quickly spiral into a disregard for both personal workload and emotions.

Other factors1,2 the can contribute to physician burnout include:

  • Family responsibilities
  • A chaotic and uncontrolled work environment
  • Time pressure
  • Lack of pace control
  • Working outside the office and on nights/weekends
  • Being a mid-career physician
  • Working in a practice that doesn’t align with personal values

The list is nearly endless. So, how can the industry work to ease these stressors and to eliminate burnout as much as possible?

Easing Physician Burnout

Treating the Physicians: Cures for Burnout

Fortunately, there are preventative and reactive solutions for physicians that may help them avoid burnout, find renewed inspirations and, in short, become physicians again.

These include1:

  • Holding monthly provider meetings to address concerns
  • Focusing on teamwork and creating “physician and family friendly” environments with greater physician control
  • Creation of standard order sets
  • Reducing required activities
  • Allowing leaders to model proper work-life balance
  • Ensuring value alignment
  • Building in time for clerical tasks to reduce conflicts
  • Moving EHR use to medical assistants to allow physicians to complete more work with patients

While moving EHR and data entry responsibilities to medical assistants can have a noticeable impact on physician burnout, practices should also ensure that their EHR systems are clear, simple-to-use and effective.

To that end, ChartLogic’s comprehensive and complete EHR solution can provide reliability and ease of use.

By incorporating a ChartLogic solution, leveraging burnout-prevention tactics and listening and adapting to physicians’ needs, practices can do their part to help physicians be physicians again.

To learn more about ChartLogic’s EHR solution, click here.

Sources

  1. https://www.ahrq.gov/prevention/clinician/ahrq-works/burnout/index.html
  2. https://www.ama-assn.org/practice-management/physician-health/physician-burnout-10-work-factors-hinder-your-well-being

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