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Reversing the burnout crisis: Helping physicians be physicians again

Burnout has become an epidemic in the healthcare industry. Increased workloads, administrative burdens and the ongoing COVID pandemic has left doctors stressed and exhausted. Partnering with an expert can help relieve this burden. 

In the rapid transition from fee-for-service to value-based health care, physicians are working harder than ever. They are increasingly struggling to achieve better patient outcomes and lower cost while managing the financial health of their practices. Administrative burdens are rapidly eclipsing the joys of patient care and relationships.

Added to that, the COVID-19 pandemic continues hitting hard on healthcare facilities and their staff, meaning significant expenses to treat sick patients and an even heavier workload on their shoulders, leaving doctors with high levels of stress and exhaustion.

The result is an epidemic of physician burnout that’s taking a huge toll.

The International Classification of Diseases 11th (ICD-11) describes burnout as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”. This is characterized by three dimensions:

  1. Exhaustion or feelings of energy depletion.
  2. Feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job or increased mental distance from it.
  3. Sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment.

According to the Medscape National Physician Burnout & Suicide Report 2021, burnout is still at a critical level. This year, 42% of physicians reported that they are burned out, the same percentage as the one from 2020.

Based on this report, COVID-19’s influence seems to have affected some specialties more than others. The five specialties ranked highest on burnout were critical care, rheumatology, infectious diseases, urology and pulmonary medicine.

Burnout affects doctors and patients

High burnout rates mean increased occurrences of mental health issues for physicians, including disproportionate rates of depression, substance abuse and suicide. All of which clearly affect patient care. Burnout can impair physicians’ attention and decision-making. They may also feel less empathetic and engaged in patient outcomes.

This syndrome also leads to many doctors leaving medicine mid-career, which (among other things) is negatively affecting patients who have to start over with new providers. Many other physicians are cutting back on hours, making it harder for patients to schedule appointments with the doctors they still have.

While the root cause of physician burnout is complex, increasing workload and financial strain are clearly primary contributors. So, the question becomes how to control—then reverse—the trend and breathe new life into doctors and the field of medicine?

That means, to get it right takes:

  • A focus on patients, not paperwork
  • Driving better health outcomes
  • Streamlining clinical and administrative procedures
  • Improving margins and profitability
  • Empowering physicians to get back to what they love

Reduce workload by partnering with an expert

Health care organizations need strategic partners to help them. Relieving physicians of the administrative burden from taking care of paperwork is essential to addressing burnout and reducing it.

Managing the complicated administrative burdens of more payors, varying standards and an endless stream of government regulations has made physician burnout an occupational crisis in health care today.

We believe technology, data and a physician’s perspective can deliver solutions that benefit all stakeholders, including providers, patients, and practices. Since 2004, we have been helping healthcare organizations and their patients thrive while allowing physicians to get back to what’s most important.

At Health Prime, we make technology the solution, not the cause. Our holistic approach delivers on a promise to improve the well-being of physicians, patients, and healthcare practices. With the right technology and transformational partner, moving from fee-for-service to value-based care can make sense for everyone.

If you are ready to address burnout and get back to the joys of practicing medicine—and your life, feel free to reach out to us at businessdevelopment@hpiinc.com. Set up a meeting with us to discuss how we can help you get back to what matters the most: your health and your patients’.

Subscribe to our Health Prime blog to stay tuned on all the latest updates on how to improve your medical practice and make sure you are getting paid for your work.

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