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9 Ways to Reduce Burnout in Healthcare

9 Ways to Reduce Burnout in Healthcare

Burnout in healthcare providers is a significant issue that continues to plague the industry.

In 2021 alone, over 230,000 nurses, clinicians, and physician assistants quit their jobs as healthcare providers.

ChartRequest believes a good part of this burnout can be attributed to tedious administrative burdens like those encountered during the release of information (ROI). As release of information requirements grow stricter, healthcare professionals must spend more time on administrative tasks than ever before.

Stop losing healthcare staff because of administrative challenges. Streamlining your administrative processes and providing the right tools can go a long way in easing your staff’s feelings of burnout.

In this article, we’ll provide tips that can help your team if they’re facing burnout.

Understanding Burnout in Healthcare

Before we dive into the tips, it’s essential to understand what burnout is and how it affects healthcare providers.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines burnout as an “occupational phenomenon” resulting from workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.

It can lead to feelings of detachment, cynicism, and reduced performance in the workplace. Common signs of burnout among healthcare professionals include chronic fatigue, decreased satisfaction with their job, and irritability.

The Problem of Burnout in Healthcare

Healthcare professionals are particularly prone to burnout due to long working hours, high levels of stress, and the emotional toll of caring for patients.

Recognizing and addressing burnout early is critical in healthcare settings. Early detection allows for proactive measures to be taken. This minimizes the negative impact on both the healthcare provider and the quality of patient care.

When burnout in healthcare is unaddressed, it exacerbates over time. It leads to a decline in employees’ mental and physical health.

This can cause more missed shifts, lower productivity, and a higher likelihood of errors. All of these have widespread effects across your team and, in serious cases, your organization as a whole.

According to a Stanford University School of Medicine study,  physicians experiencing burnout had more than twice the odds of self-reporting medical errors.

High stress levels also contribute to mental health disorders like depression and anxiety. These implications emphasize the urgency and importance of early identification and addressing burnout symptoms.

The Impact of New Technologies and Compliance on Burnout in Healthcare

A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that physicians spend about two hours on medical record and desk work for every hour of patient care. This leads to frustration, exhaustion, and burnout in healthcare providers, which can also affect medical record clerks’ work.

Moreover, complying with strict healthcare laws like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) adds more pressure. These laws demand thorough documentation and reporting, reducing time for patient care.

The mix of more administrative tasks, tight regulations, and the stress of patient care has created widespread burnout in healthcare.

New technologies are the answer to the increasingly strict healthcare regulations passed in recent years.

Healthcare providers are under great pressure to keep up with constantly changing healthcare regulations. They need to keep detailed, accurate digital records for every patient to ensure data security. Yet, they often spend more time on complex EHR systems and bureaucratic tasks than with patients.

9 Ways to Curb Burnout in Healthcare

Addressing burnout in healthcare settings requires a multi-faceted approach involving individual- and institutional-level interventions. Here are nine tips that can help:

1. Modernizing Your Release of Information Process

Paper-based release of information (ROI) processes can be time-consuming and laborious, adding significant administrative burdens.

Manual workflows often involve tedious tasks like searching for records, making copies, and tracking down missing patient information. The inefficiency of paper-based processes can exacerbate healthcare professional burnout.

Release of information tools like ChartRequest address the most common ROI challenges to ease or eliminate the burdens for healthcare staff.

By digitizing ROI workflows, ChartRequest eliminates the need for manual data entry and paperwork, making the ROI process more efficient and less error-prone.

Pro tip: You can outsource your entire medical records release to a Full-Service ROI solution to get it off your plate.

2. Efficient Record Management

Effective record management can minimize the workload and stress levels for healthcare providers.

Healthcare professionals spend almost 50% of their time on paperwork and adding notes on the EHR system. Managing records efficiently can save valuable time, allowing professionals to focus on patient care. Key benefits of an organized record management system include improved accessibility, reduced time spent searching for records, and enhanced data accuracy.

When it comes to ROI, Mid Atlantic Retina expressed having to spend an additional 20 hours per week before ChartRequest on frustrating tasks like chasing doctors’ signatures.

ChartRequest facilitates efficient health information management across multiple domains. We make it easy to securely share medical, billing, and imaging records in compliance with all state and federal regulations.

Additionally, ChartRequest provides support for medical forms that require a healthcare provider’s signature including worker’s compensation forms, disability forms, and sports and camp forms.

3. Encourage Work-Life Balance

Studies have shown that maintaining a work-life balance is crucial in reducing burnout among healthcare professionals.

According to a study published by BMC Primary Care, high work-life balance significantly motivates healthcare practitioners to stay in their profession.

As an organization, you can promote work-life balance by encouraging your team to take breaks and vacations, ensuring they have adequate time off to rejuvenate. Promoting flexible schedules can also help employees balance their personal and professional responsibilities better.

4. Facilitate Digital Transition

As of 2021, almost 96% of non-federal acute care hospitals in the U.S. had adopted certified EHR technology. It’s a huge step in keeping up with the increasingly digital healthcare landscape.

However, according to a report from Fierce Healthcare,  4 in 10 health systems reported they “often” use mail or fax to exchange data. This suggests that even among hospitals that have adopted EHRs, many still use paper-based methods for certain tasks, such as information exchange.

This can add to the administrative burden on healthcare professionals and contribute to burnout.

Integrating digital solutions like ChartRequest for ROI processes can significantly reduce the workload by totally digitizing tasks like record retrieval, form fulfillment, and communications between providers.

5. Training and Support

Investing in thorough training and support is crucial when introducing new technologies or healthcare regulations.

According to a Userlane report, organizations globally waste $1.4 trillion on ineffective digital transformation projects. including healthcare. Nearly 70% of initiatives fail to make an impact on business operations.

To ensure successful adoption, it is essential to provide training and support for healthcare professionals on how to use new technologies effectively. This can also help reduce the time and effort invested in adapting to new systems, ultimately reducing burnout.

At ChartRequest, we offer comprehensive training and support to our clients. This ensures seamless integration of our platform into their release of information processes.

Comprehensive training can alleviate frustration and inefficiency, fostering a smoother transition. Benefits include increased proficiency, reduced errors, and improved compliance with regulations.

ChartRequest is dedicated to providing healthcare providers with the necessary knowledge to easily navigate the ROI platform. Our service is user-friendly and is accompanied by extensive training resources and round-the-clock, white-glove support.

6. Promoting a Culture of Open Communication

Effective communication is vital for promoting a positive work environment and preventing burnout among healthcare professionals. It allows for the exchange of ideas, concerns, and feedback, leading to better teamwork and collaboration.

A 2023 survey by Spok Inc. highlighted almost 60% of clinicians reported high levels of burnout, partially attributed to communication challenges.

As an organization, it is essential to promote a culture of open communication by providing platforms for employees to voice their opinions and concerns. This can include regular team meetings, anonymous feedback surveys, or designated channels for sharing ideas and suggestions

You can foster a healthier work environment by actively listening to your healthcare team’s needs and addressing any issues promptly.

7. Focus on Mental Health and Well-being

Patients often turn to their healthcare providers when it comes to mental burdens. But who is taking care of your healthcare staff’s mental well-being? In a high-stress environment, it’s vital to prioritize mental health to prevent burnout.

According to a 2021 Doximity poll, nearly 42% of physicians reported feeling burnt out, with increased workload and bureaucracy being major contributing factors.

To address this, healthcare organizations can implement mental health and well-being programs for their staff, such as

  • offering counseling services,
  • providing resources and support for coping with stress,
  • promoting work-life balance,
  • encouraging breaks and time off.

By acknowledging the importance of mental health and implementing initiatives to support it, healthcare organizations can promote a healthier work environment and reduce burnout in healthcare staff. Given the 46% rise in healthcare staff seeking treatment since 2020, your healthcare staff can greatly benefit from this approach.

8. Recognizing and Rewarding Efficiency

Recognition and rewards enhance staff efficiency and morale. It is a tangible way to show appreciation for hard work and dedication, boosting motivation and job satisfaction.

According to a Gallup poll, employees who do not feel adequately recognized are twice as likely to quit. Acknowledging efforts can substantially reduce burnout in healthcare staff. It fosters a feeling of validation and worthiness in their role.

Rewards can take various forms – from a simple “Thank You” to performance bonuses or opportunities for professional growth. These actions communicate the value of the employees’ contributions, encouraging continuous improvement and innovation.

Recognizing and rewarding efficiency fosters a positive work environment and promotes a culture of excellence, contributing to reduced burnout and improved patient care. For Self-Service partners, our enterprise dashboard provides comprehensive reporting to help you celebrate great performance.

9. Leadership Role in Preventing Burnout in Healthcare

Good leadership is important in preventing burnout among healthcare professionals. They set the tone for the organization, shaping its culture, policies, and practices.

A study conducted on Mayo Clinic employees found that every 1-point increase in the leadership score was associated with a 3.3% decrease in burnout.

As a leader, you can support your teams’ well-being by implementing the following strategies:

  • Encourage Open Dialogue: Create an environment where team members can discuss their concerns without fear of retaliation.
  • Provide Supportive Resources: Offer stress management training and counseling services to help staff cope with job-related stress.
  • Promote Work-Life Balance: Encourage regular breaks and time off to prevent overwork.
  • Acknowledge Efforts: Recognition of hard work and dedication can boost morale and job satisfaction.

By taking these measures, leaders can foster a supportive work environment that promotes well-being and reduces burnout.

Looking for a Strategic Ally Against Burnout? Try ChartRequest

Physician burnout is a complex issue that demands a comprehensive approach. To combat burnout, healthcare organizations must prioritize open communication, mental health, efficiency recognition, and supportive leadership.

ChartRequest is an invaluable tool that alleviates the paperwork burden faced by healthcare staff. Streamlining your ROI process can significantly reduce the workload for your team. This frees up their time to focus on what truly matters – patient care, which is the cornerstone of the healthcare profession.

When you explore ChartRequest solutions, you will witness firsthand how we support your team, enhance your services, and contribute to a sustainable, burnout-free healthcare environment.

Ready to embrace a healthier and more efficient work environment? Get started with a demo free of charge today!

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