In 1999 the National Association of Inpatient Physicians (SHM’s former name) discovered a 13% burnout rate among hospitalists as well as an additional 25% at risk for burnout. Though that sounds high, they found that emergency and critical care physicians experience burnout rates of up to 60%.
With the more recent regulatory burdens that particularly impact provider workload, we revived this important topic in a recent #KareoChat (join the chat every first and third Thursday of the month at 10 a.m. PST/12 p.m. EST). Healthcare professionals and industry experts gathered together with host, Dr. Kim Yu @drkkyu, family physician and Director of Vituity Health to discuss physician wellness and resiliency. They offered ways to help physicians reduce their chances of burnout or find ways to help if they feel they’ve gotten there.
This chat was packed full of great discussion and suggestions to help those on the front lines of healthcare take care of themselves so they can continue to provide great care for all.
Topic 1: What Contributes to Physician Burnout?
Physician burnout has several contributing factors as the participants pointed out. However, frustration with short patient visits and EHR’s were discussed quite a bit.
#KareoChat T1 For PCPs, excessive volume of patients/day, resulting in inadequate visit times are definitely a factor.— John Chamberlain (@misterchambo) February 15, 2018
#KareoChat T1 Combined with EHR frustration, ever increasing administrative load compared to clinical time.— John Chamberlain (@misterchambo) February 15, 2018
Topic 2: How Are You Seeing Physician Burnout Impact Patient Care?
We live in a time where we’re all trying to be the best we can be all the time. Though we all want to be the best healthcare professionals possible, by not taking time to care for ourselves, it impacts the patients.
Any patient time that doesn’t get physician’s full attention impacts the patient. And not in a good way.#KareoChat— John Chamberlain (@misterchambo) February 15, 2018
A:3.5 to 4 We live in the "I can do it all" USA. The patient safety fall out - I think unintentional result of all of us desperately attempting to be the best healthcare professional we can #KareoChat https://t.co/MJKiwNXql3— Cherri Rogers (@Ptexp_RN_Cherri) February 15, 2018
Topic 3: Do You Believe Physician Wellness Is the Responsibility of Physicians or Employers/Organizations or Both?
A great question with lots of feedback from the participants. Many expressed that both physicians and employers must do their part in keeping physicians healthy.
Vacation is important too! Well known that in the USA we take fewer vacation days than other countries, and in healthcare especially it can be seen in a negative light by some employers if you take vacation. False economy as burned out physicians = poorer outcomes #kareochat https://t.co/HOgLWiSmgz— Kim Yu, MD, FAAFP (@drkkyu) February 15, 2018
A:3 this is a difficult one to look at. Differences in MD personalities to how they allow outside factors to impact "self" will differ - I do think work and personal facets can make work difficult to navigate #KareoChat https://t.co/n2yCcLsrzI— Cherri Rogers (@Ptexp_RN_Cherri) February 15, 2018
#KareoChat A3: Both! We need to understand it takes two to tango, and likewise takes both organizations and us to work together to improve conditions for our healthcare workforce to be well. https://t.co/U27CZhKl5e— Kim Yu, MD, FAAFP (@drkkyu) February 15, 2018
T3: That's similar to our expectation of patients, isn't it? Eat better, exercise, moderate your lifestyle? "Physician, heal thyself!" Is that an unreasonable expectation? #KareoChat— Janet M. Kennedy (@GetSocialHealth) February 15, 2018
There was a lot of discussion about the fact that an organization must first acknowledge problems exist and have advocates assist in developing plans to ensure the physician point of view is included.
T4: The first thing an organization can do is acknowledge that the problem exists and start having open conversations with providers. #KareoChat— Melissa Mills (@mkngspacenurse) February 15, 2018
Topic 4: How Can Practices Address Physician Wellness and Resiliency?
Bonus Topic: What Role Can Social Media Play in Improving Physician Wellness and Resiliency?
Social media can play a big role in connecting physicians to each other for support from fellow colleagues.
#kareochat Social Media can help physicians and providers connect with other like minded individuals,to find & share community. The Physician Moms in Family Medicine Facebook group has over 2600 members and we share in all that brings Joy in Medicine! Find your fellow colleagues! https://t.co/CoT9P15SYy— Kim Yu, MD, FAAFP (@drkkyu) February 15, 2018
Physician wellness and resiliency is an important topic for everyone. We need our healthcare professionals feeling their best so they can provide care when we need them the most. Thanks to our participants for sharing some the great ideas on ways to help physicians take care of themselves. Dr. Kim Yu (@drkkyu) did an amazing job hosting the chat!