Preventing Clinician Burnout by Leveraging Support From Software

As a healthcare professional, you face a lot at work. And since you’re only human, you’re subject to burnout, as we all are. While you can somewhat alleviate burnout with self-care and personal strategies that improve physical and mental health, there are systemic causes of burnout that are harder to dodge.

COVID-19 created a global public health crisis. As the pandemic progressed, clinicians found themselves overworked in challenging working conditions.

They were pained by losing patients and colleagues. And they couldn’t escape the ever-present risk of infection and, in turn, infecting family.

Researchers at the American Medical Association (AMA), the University of Colorado’s School of Medicine, Stanford University’s School of Medicine, and the Mayo Clinic found that 62.8% of almost 2,500 U.S. physicians across nearly all specialties endured at least one manifestation of burnout in 2021, higher than that of 2020, 2017, 2012, and 2011.

Systemic causes of burnout consumed many workers at distressing levels. Moreover, many of these systemic causes can be tied to technology in clinical settings.

We can address clinician burnout by looking closely at technologies and their uses. This blog discusses making the most of technology to lessen systemic causes of clinician burnout.

Causes of clinician burnout

Several factors cause clinician burnout, and they can include:

Family responsibilities

Balancing family life with work is essential for many people. Family-friendly organizational settings can enhance a physician’s well-being, per an AHRQ-funded study that sampled 171,000 primary care doctors.

Time pressure

Many physicians feel pressure when carrying out physical exams. As a result, they would like more time for exams or follow-up appointments.

Chaotic environment

Hospitals are busy places where urgency is paramount. That alone can be stressful. In this environment, clinicians see patients back to back with few breaks.

Electronic health records

Electronic health records (EHRs), also known as electronic medical records (EMRs), do not reduce stress for physicians. On the contrary, it’s yet another stressor.

Little control of pace

Clinicians have little say over their schedules, how fast they need to work, and how many patients they need to see. They must meet each day’s demands regardless of whether they want to.

Job resources not meeting job demands

According to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), when clinicians don’t have enough resources, or working technologies, to get their tasks done as efficiently as possible, frustration and other negative feelings will lead to burnout.

Consequences of clinician burnout

Clinician burnout can have consequences on the clinicians’ health and work performance. Let’s analyze them.

Effect on clinicians’ health

Clinicians impacted by burnout are at higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, prolonged fatigue, and respiratory problems, to name a few. In addition, they’re likely to suffer from poor mental health.

Effect on work performance

Burnout can cause clinicians to rethink their workplace and line of work. Absenteeism becomes a problem, and productivity declines.

The societal cost of decreased productivity and clinician turnover costs the United States billions annually.

Taking action against clinician burnout

Clinician burnout needs to be recognized and identified, not swept under the rug. When there is clinician burnout, the quality of healthcare will deteriorate, and patient safety will be risked.

Welkin notes, clinicians are more likely to experience burnout due to understaffed shifts, schedule changes, long shifts, and exposure to infectious illnesses.

With these in mind, every organization must make clinicians’ lives easier and less prone to burnout.

Flex schedules, staff satisfaction surveys, work-life balance, and longer appointments will help against clinician burnout. However, EHRs are a very significant cause of clinician burnout.

EHR (and technology) related burnout

Technology should absolutely not be the cause of burnout. Technology is meant to make healthcare worker’s jobs easier, not add extra stress.

There are ways to make the most of healthcare technology including upfront training, setting up automation within tools, including automating the login process. It’s always a learning curve to adopt a new tool, but when you choose strong technology, that hurdle won’t seem like a huge barrier to entry.

The benefits of software support and healthcare CRMs

Healthcare CRM features and third-party integrations have the power to digitize and streamline some of the following workflows: billing, telehealth, ePrescribing, digital pharmacies, lab referrals, and online booking.

Installing new software support will take admin work off physicians’ hands and liberate them to focus on their main initiative: patient care and treatment.

As a result, patients will receive the better care they deserve from their primary care providers.

Technology such as supportive software and healthcare CRMs function for the benefit of clinicians in various ways.

Better care coordination

Patients transitioning from hospitals to other care settings need to have their records move with them as seamlessly as possible. So outdated technology will surely cause wrinkles and result in mistakes.

Quick and easy access to medical records

Updated technologies enable physicians and care teams to pull records faster and improve their job performance. However, unnecessary features will block physicians from the information they need to access.

Fewer medical errors

Healthcare CRMS are meant to guide a physician’s decisions regarding patient care, not hinder them. Healthcare CRMS with the appropriate supportive software will cause fewer medical errors.

Patient education

A well-informed physician who understands Healthcare CRMS can communicate their knowledge to patients and correctly advise them on their condition-specific needs. Valuing patient education is paramount.

Cost reduction

Errors in diagnosis and prescriptions cost hospitals and clinics billions annually. And when everything is stored online, any paper costs go away.

How can Welkin help?

Our Care Management software is made to support overworked, short-staffed teams.

Save time

Our Care Management solution is free of inefficient processes. Instead, data is stored in one place where care team members can easily exchange information.

Streamline and automate administrative tasks

Centralizing communications will reduce the necessity for meetings. Furthermore, role-based updates and tasks permit smooth transitions into responsibilities when personnel move.

Welkin’s Care Management platform is built on customizable, intuitive record-keeping and clinical documentation integrations.

Automate data collection and logging

Digital documentation offers security, searchability, instant availability, reduced risk of error, centralized documentation, and a small burden of manual paperwork.

Patient-provider communication through multiple channels

Welkin’s communication toolkit includes synchronous, HIPAA-compliant video conferencing, asynchronous secure email, web-based or patient-facing chat, SMS, and MMS.

Spend more time with patients

With technology handling many time-wasting duties, care teams are empowered to reclaim their time and focus their attention on patients.

Patients will be better educated and more satisfied. They will learn to trust their primary care providers, permitting better relationships between both sides.

Happier employees

Employees want to be supported at work. By addressing burnout from systemic causes, such as outdated technology, employees will work efficiently with fewer stressors and, consequently, fewer complaints.

Combat clinician burnout through software support

Clinician burnout manifests itself as feelings of cynicism, stress, alienation, and exhaustion. Physically, clinicians may experience intestinal difficulties, stomach pains, and headaches.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, clinician burnout has exceeded normal levels. One major cause is inadequate technological resources to meet job demands.

Improvements to Healthcare CRMs and adding new software to manage workloads will save physicians time, reduce organizational costs, and assist physicians in dedicating their work to quality patient care.

Learn how Welkin’s solutions can help you address clinician burnout and streamline your care management process to provide patients with premium care.

Make your program more care-centric today.

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