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Physicians still miserable: Seven solutions to address burnout

November 19, 2019
Geneia's national survey reveals seven solutions physicians say will address burnout.

Harrisburg, PA – Nearly all (97 percent) of employed physicians surveyed in August 2019 agree that:

“Curbing physician burnout is an absolutely critical and necessary component for employers to address. If employers of physicians do not do something quickly to sustain and keep physicians satisfied, we won’t have the quality workforce we need.”

Geneia, a healthcare analytic solutions and services company that is simplifying the evolution to value-based care, today released the full results of a national survey of employed physicians commissioned to identify solutions to epidemic levels of physician burnout and dissatisfaction. The topline findings were:

  • Eight in 10 (84 percent) say the quality time doctors are able to spend with patients has decreased in the last 10 years.
  • More than three-quarters (77 percent) know a physician who is likely to stop practicing medicine in the next five years due to burnout.
  • Nearly three-quarters of surveyed physicians (74 percent) say the challenges of practicing medicine in today’s environment have caused them to consider career options outside of clinical practice.
  • An overwhelming majority (83 percent) say they are personally at risk for burnout at some point in their career.

The survey also showed physicians believe there is some movement toward solving the problem of physician burnout:

  • 93 percent say there has been a marked increase in news and information about physician burnout.
  • Nearly half (47 percent) say they have seen a change in how their employer is trying to address burnout in the last two years.
“The industry is moving steadily towards employment of physicians, and employed physicians are more dissatisfied than independent doctors,” said Heather Lavoie, Geneia president. “With physician dissatisfaction reaching epidemic levels, now is the time for healthcare organizations to prioritize restoring the joy of medicine. Geneia’s national survey of employed physicians revealed seven ways healthcare organizations can help.”

Geneia’s survey revealed seven solutions to address physician burnout – in addition to improving the EHR:

  1. Listen. Ensure physicians know they’ve been heard.
  2. Empower clinician-staffed committees to examine select burnout contributors and make operational recommendations to administrators.
  3. Pay attention to the basic needs of physicians working long hours. Carve out time for bathroom breaks and consider making healthy food available close to physician offices.
  4. Offer professional development opportunities, not just EHR training.
  5. Invest in physician time-savers like scribes – the top-rated solution for relieving stress in the workplace - pre-visit planning and pre-visit lab testing, and care team huddles.
  6. Carefully consider ways to give physicians the option to have more time with patients who have complex healthcare needs.
  7. Encourage peer relationships and physician collegiality.

To read the full survey results and learn more about the seven ways employers can address physician burnout, download the report, Physicians Still Miserable: Seven Solutions to Address Burnout.

Download the report

Geneia commissioned a nationwide survey among physicians who are practicing medicine and are employed by corporate- or hospital-owned entities. Interviewing of 401 physicians was conducted online in August 2019. The results have a margin of error of +/-4.9 percentage points at the 95 percent level of confidence.

Geneia LLC is a healthcare analytics and services company. We work to improve collaboration between healthcare providers, health plans and employers to better support personalized, patient-centered care. Through advanced technology, education and training, insights and clinical services, we help clients better identify and actively manage high-risk populations, improve quality measurement and outcomes, and strengthen revenue. Rooted in deep clinical experience and leading-edge data science, our client-centric, phased approach to population health simplifies the transition to risk and value-based care. Our offices are located in Harrisburg, PA and Manchester, NH. To learn more, visit Geneia.com (https://www.geneia.com) or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.