Keeping physicians in good physical and mental shape improves patient care and maximizes income for practices. Here are eight ways to prevent burnout.
Not too long ago, practicing medicine revolved around patient care. Today, doctors find themselves overwhelmed by increasing documentation requirements from third-party payers and the challenges of balancing patient expectations against limited consultation time. Â Â While it is hard to find solutions in the current climate of increasing patient loads and physician shortages, making small changes in scheduling, record keeping, and practice routines can reduce exhaustion and keep practitioners motivated.Here are eight ways to stave off physician burnout.Click here to download a PDF of this slideshow.
EHRs improve quality of care by allowing data tracking and patient monitoring, but also increase time pressure on physicians. Effective clinical documentation support can allow physicians to spend less time on data entry.
Between increasing patient loads and clinical documentation requirements, physicians spend their work day rushing from one patient to another. Allocating more time per patient visit would relieve some of the pressure and improve doctor-patient interaction.
While physicians can rarely be away from their practice for two or more weeks at a time, one-week getaways or extended weekends can help keep motivation high and reduce fatigue. Small-group practices in which physicians share full-time equivalent jobs and prolong vacation time for each doctor, offer an attractive model.
Doctors spend their lives caring for others, but may neglect their own health and well-being. Allowing time for medical appointments, exercise, and meditation can prevent physical and mental exhaustion.
A change of scenery, even if only to a different work landscape, could motivate physicians to look forward to their work day and shake up after-work routine.
For physicians who own a practice, enlisting the help of other doctors, technicians, and staff members can mean more patient interaction and less time dealing with administrative hassles.
Keeping up with changing technologies and new learning challenges can help doctors rediscover the joy of practicing medicine.