Three experts shared their insights on how to reduce physician burnout with Becker's ASC Review:
1. Linda Komnick, senior partner and leader of the physician integration and leadership practice at executive search firm WittKieffer:
"[ASCs] can still acknowledge the stress, build a team that looks out for each other and really cares, pitches in when they see others overwhelmed, ensures vacation time, eliminates "busy work" and so forth. They can have team meetings where solutions from their suggestions are really implemented. Burnout at work is as much about not feeling appreciated or acknowledged as it is about being tired and overworked.
On that note, physicians need to have some control and autonomy in addressing these issues and improving their work lives. It's easy to suggest solutions for burnout, but clinicians need to have a say in what they want and need, rather than having solutions applied to them."
2. Geeta Nayyar, MD, chief medical officer of Tampa, Fla.-based Greenway Health:
"Burnout comes in many forms, and there are several contributing factors — from managing requirements of insurers, regulators and administrators to feeling like physicians have a never-ending amount of work that requires them to be “always on.” Technology plays a major role in this.
For health systems, it’s crucial to ensure that physicians are involved in technology decisions and are properly trained on the technology they are required to use. EHRs can drive significant improvements in patient care, documentation and efficiencies, but they can also add to the burden on physicians and their teams, especially if they are not effectively trained after their initial go-live or during new hire on-boarding. As new processes or technology optimizations are developed, doctors also need to be involved so everyone is on the same page about how the technology should function."
3. Michael Genovese, MD, CMO of Franklin, Tenn.-based Acadia Healthcare:
"We're seeing indications that physician burnout may be lessening, but we are far from the issue being resolved. Change does not happen overnight, and we as providers and leaders in the healthcare industry need to commit to sustainable, long-term solutions. There must be a cultural shift, and often, those at the top can effectuate change by creating policies, providing resources and changing the dialogue around mental health — all things that will reduce and possibly eliminate burnout in the future."