Advice for Healthcare Organizations

Four Simple Ways For Healthcare Organizations To Start Reducing Burnout 

Healthcare organizations, like hospitals and medical groups, have the opportunity to reduce burnout in their physicians and increase productivity at the same time. Using the resources that employers have at their disposal to change work conditions may seem counterproductive, but they are effective. 

1. Offer More Physician Control

Traditionally, healthcare employers set all of the parameters concerning jobs. Keeping all of the control increases stress on physicians. Simply offering physicians more control over theirs schedules,  lives and establishing better work life balance will help alleviate this stress. Studies show that physician control actually increases loyalty and productivity. There are many ways to offer physicians control 

Some Ways to offer control are flex time and scheduling, job sharing and telecommutingThese are just a few examples of physician control. Anything that empowers a physician to take charge of his or her life offers physician control.

2. Ask Physicians for Suggestions

Physicians have some of the best ideas on how to improve their own jobs and the organization as a whole. These ideas, however, are not always communicated. Many physicians do not feel that people in management care and most managers do not have the time to sit down with each physician. The best way to hear about new, innovative ideas is to create a physician suggestion program. 

Make it simple: Create a simple process for giving suggestions; complicated rules do not encourage creativity.

Respond: Let physicians know that you have their suggestions and will consider them. 

Thank: Thank each physician who gives a suggestion, even if they are suggestions you do not use. 

Reward: Physicians who come up with useful suggestions need to be rewarded.

3. Physician Assistance Program (PAP)

Given the unavoidable stress of life, most physicians face times when they need assistance. Physician Assistance Programs provide physicians access to coaching, counseling and other services. Without the aid of coaches and counselors, the effects of stress can spiral out of control. Physician assistance programs give individuals the opportunity to seek help and learn the skills necessary to improve their work life balance. 

Typical PAP Topics include personal crisis, work stress, finances, substance abuse advice and counseling

PAPs are useful investments because they prevent turnover and reduce absences as they teach strategies for better work life balance and avoidong burnout.

4. Reward Your Docs

This may seem basic, but rewarding your  medical staff is an effective method for promoting work-life balance. Physicians who feel appreciated are more confident, and rewards reinforce the behavior you want to see repeated. Rewards can also provide breaks that reduce stress. Rewards do not have to break the bank. There are simple ways to thank your physicians for their service.

Useful Rewards include public acknowledgement of service, extra time off, awards, promotions and well organized parties.

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