Being a physician is one of the stressful and toughest jobs today. No wonder, physician burnout is a significant issue plaguing the healthcare industry. What is physician burnout all about? It is essentially an extreme form of stress brought on by too much pressure. Wondering what it feels like? Well, physicians feel emotionally and physically drained and believe they can do nothing about it. This can be due to the constant pressure, long hours of work, and the demanding workloads that come along with their everyday routine. According to Medscape National Physician Burnout & Depression Report, 42% of the physicians reported feeling burnt out. It is quite alarming to note that physician burnout not only affects their performance, but also the quality of care they provide.
Let us in this article help physicians continue to love their job by helping them with strategies to reduce physician burnout and feel refreshed and revitalized.
Training in EHR: Studies report that EHR implementation contributes significantly to 40% of physician burnout. There are cases where many physicians complained that using EHRs added to their daily frustration level. To ease burnout, physicians can undergo training on how to use it effectively. Getting comfortable using EHR software can greatly help reduce physician burnout.
Opt for a medical scribe: Physicians spend enormous amounts of time keying in data, contributing to physician burnout. A new study reported that primary care physicians spend more time interacting with EHR and documentation than with patients. Although hiring a medical scribe may seem like an added expense, the cost can be covered by seeing a few more patients due to reduced EHR tasks. Hence, hiring a medical scribe to help with the documentation tasks is a great way to mitigate physician burnout.
Maintain work-life balance: Generally, physicians struggle to maintain an optimal work-life balance, leading to physician burnout. When physicians experience burnout, they feel overwhelmed and begin to withdraw from others. Some even tend to isolate themselves. Reaching out to family and friends and spending some quality time together is the best antidote to physician burnout.
Indulge in regular exercise: One of the best ways to mitigate physician burnout is to exercise regularly. Simple exercises like walking, jogging, or biking could even help. Meditation, yoga, acupuncture, or a massage can also relieve stress and help relax.
Consider outsourcing tiresome tasks: As the demands placed on physicians continue to rise, healthcare compliance experts suggest outsourcing some of the core administrative tasks. When physicians feel that there is so much to be done and not enough time, choosing to outsource some tasks is the best thing to do. This helps physicians spend more time with their patients and providing quality care.
Being a physician is very fulfilling, rewarding, and at the same time a very demanding job. No wonder they are prone to stress and burnout. Physicians generally do not seek help when they feel burnt out. This is because of the growing stigma associated with mental health. However, ignoring the warning signs could lead to adverse outcomes like depression and much more. So, if you are a physician and feel like your ‘battery is running out’ do not hesitate to reach out for help. Remember, your mental health is important. So make a commitment to take care of it!