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January 4, 2019

Preventing Physician Burnout With Enhanced Communication

More than 4 out 10 physicians report feeling burned out at their jobs, according to Medscape’s National Physician Burnout & Depression Report, with a surprising 15 percent sharing feelings of either clinical or colloquial forms of depression.

To get to the root of the issue, we need to first gain a clear understanding of what exactly is leading physicians to feel burned out. While physician burnout can be tough to diagnose and treat, it’s not impossible to alleviate with the right tools and processes in place. Interestingly, in Medscape’s report, more than half of physicians stated that too many bureaucratic tasks, such as charting and paperwork, were contributing to their feelings of burnout.

 For many physicians, technology isn’t making their lives any easier. Increases in compliance and documentation requirements cost precious time with patients. Worse, providers are often stuck using a patchwork of technology solutions that were not designed to work together in a streamlined way – complicating their daily workflows and eating away at their productivity.  

Too often today, communications across healthcare teams can be scattered, disconnected, and not appropriately documented. Whether it’s through post-it notes, phone calls, emails, or hallway conversations, it’s difficult to ensure all of the appropriate information makes it to the right team members at the right time.

Remember the stat above about these bureaucratic tasks causing feelings of burnout? It doesn’t have to be this way. In today’s world, we have become accustomed to having information and the ability to communicate at our fingertips, and healthcare should be no different. Thanks to technological advances, there are several new tools available to physicians to make their jobs easier and provide a faster, more efficient way for staff to collaborate and improve patient care.  

At Updox, our goal is to make physicians jobs easier by providing innovative solutions that streamline care -- not complicate it. In November, we announced Messenger, a secure, inter-office instant messaging solution, to solve healthcare’s frustration with existing collaboration methods. Messenger centralizes communication into one central location and enables healthcare teams to effectively communicate with one another – all in one system and in-workflow. The benefit? Scattered communication across the organization is greatly reduced, thereby allowing office staff - whether across a busy office or multiple practice locations - to have one place where they can easily manage all administrative tasks and take quicker action.

While arming physicians with new technologies is just one step in the fight of reducing burnout, it’s an appropriate action to take. Technology only works when it eases frustrations - not adds to them. Also, physicians are at the front lines of care, so it’s our job to listen to their concerns and needs and then proactively take steps to address them.


 

Topics: Physicians, Blog, communication, productivity, health-systems