It Takes a Village to Prevent Physician Burnout
Burnout is common in all industries, and doctors are no exception. Despite a love of medicine and a strong desire to improve patients’ lives, sometimes mundane tasks get in the way of the work physicians thrive on. This can result in burnout, a widespread problem in the field of health care.
The AMA Wants to Reduce Physician Burnout
The American Medical Association recognizes that physician burnout is very real and is trying to take steps to reduce it. They are studying the issues that most often lead to burnout – a list that includes time constraints, technology, and regulations – in order to come up with strategies for addressing these challenges head-on and provide guidance and solutions to improve physicians’ overall satisfaction.
The bottom line? It takes a proverbial village to help prevent physician burnout. With so many daily tasks and requirements, doctors can’t possibly do it all themselves! The key personnel that are necessary to help them thrive might include the following individuals:
- Medical assistants. These professionals are tasked with providing assistance for a wide range of tasks, from checking vital stats and performing intake reviews of medical conditions to setting up prescription refills.
- Advanced practice providers. APPs help increase patient access and improve overall care.
- Care coordination nurses. These nurses assist with care transitions by contacting patients with higher risks of readmission following discharge to answer any questions they might have and make sure follow-up appointments are scheduled.
- Population health medical assistants. These MAs are responsible for creating patient lists that identify gaps in care, such as annual exams that have not yet been scheduled, and proactively reaching out to these patients.
- Medicare annual wellness visit nurses. These nurses focus their attention on health maintenance and care gaps to ensure patients receive their annual Medicare wellness visits.
- Embedded clinical pharmacists. These in-office pharmacists offer immediate consultations for patients and conduct outreach including telehealth, virtual visits and chronic disease management.
- Primary care social work. Behavioral health professionals are invaluable in making sure patients in need are admitted to extended-care facilities. They reach out to patients who might need assistance with medications, transportation, and placement in residential facilities, or aren’t as health-literate as others.
While the exact team will vary depending on the needs of your practice and the patient population, this gives you a general idea of the benefits of teamwork in reducing physician burnout.