How to Deal With Physician Burnout: 3 Communication Tools
We all know what it feels like to be burned out — to be spent and fried after a long shift. According to Jama Internal Medicine, burnout is more common among physicians than other workers in the United States. Furthermore, research suggests that many physicians experience professional burnout — a syndrome characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a reduced sense of personal accomplishment. Another study found that not only does burnout affect the physician, it negatively impacts the quality of care, increases the risk for medical errors, and can influence early retirement. Additionally, physician burnout is linked to the following consequences:
- Lower patient satisfaction
- Higher medical error rates
- Higher physician turnover
- Physician drug and alcohol abuse and addiction
- Physician suicide
All of these findings point to a highly prevalent and systematic problem that is threatening the foundation of the U.S. healthcare system. With that in mind, we have compiled a comprehensive list of three communication tools to help deal with physician burnout.
1. Improve communication with staff and physicians
“Caring for patients keeps doctors motivated,” says Dr. Linzer, Director of the Division of General Internal Medicine at Hennepin County Medical Center. “What burns them out is caring for patients in a high-stress environment. Change the environment and you’ll change the overall quality of care.”
One way to change your work environment is to improve the communication between staff and physicians.
That’s where MDsyncNET comes into play. We have developed eight cloud-based modules that improve communication between staff and physicians which, in turn enhances patient care. For example, our On-Call Scheduling Software enables facilities to have a central, synchronized schedule that is accurate, efficient, and available to authorized users when needed. At the end of the day, there will be no more calls to the wrong physician in the middle of the night.
2. Improve the relationship between the staff and physicians
One of the most effective ways to improve the relationship between staff and physicians is to improve communication. With this in mind, MDsyncNET was born. We have several modules that improve the connection and overall communication.
With our Broadcast module, staff can provide important facility notifications as they occur. This reduces the number of times that a physician is frustrated for not receiving a message, all while improving staff’s proactive communication. The result? Never having to hear, “I didn’t get the message” or “How was I to know?”.
Medical Staff Services enables you to post important information online, available 24/7, so that healthcare practitioners can read it anytime. With Medical Staff Services, practitioners don’t have to wait for the medical staff office to open — all information is on demand.
3. Talk openly about physician burnout
Take away the negative stigma of physician burnout by talking about it with your friends, family and colleagues. Studies show that 46% of physicians reported at least one symptom of burnout. If you feel you are experiencing symptoms of burnout, you are not alone. Talk to your colleagues — as they may need your help, too.
To learn about the rest of our modules, click here.
Overall, physician burnout is detrimental on multiple levels: for physicians, for patients and their loved ones, and facility staff. But improving communication with staff, improving the relationship between the staff and physicians, and talking openly about physician burnout can all reduce the risk of physician burnout. To learn more about improving communication in your facility, please click here.