Phone: 1-800-624-8832 | Email: | Help Center
Feb 03

How to Spot and Reduce Burnout in Healthcare Workers

There has been a lot of discussion around burnout in the healthcare industry lately. Between difficulty with keeping organizations fully staffed and the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers are worn out. While this is an intimidating topic and it can be tempting to feel helpless, it is possible to both identify and reduce burnout in your organization. Read on to learn more.

What is burnout?

Burnout refers to a state of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion that results from ongoing stressful or demanding work. Disillusionment, loss of meaning in work, and other negative feelings are common characteristics of burnout. Individuals experiencing burnout will often feel skeptical of if they are accomplishing anything worthwhile, resulting in an overall feeling of helplessness.

Healthcare burnout is often compared to stress, but while they are similar, they’re not the same. Stress is usually temporary and often related to a specific situation. Once that situation is resolved, the stress will alleviate. Burnout, on the other hand, is usually chronic in nature and won’t resolve without intervention.

How to Spot Burnout

There are a variety of symptoms that may indicate an individual is struggling with burnout. While multiple symptoms are likely, any one of these symptoms can be an indication to check on the individual in question to make sure they’re doing alright.

Symptoms of burnout include:

  • Frequent headaches, colds, and fatigue without a clear cause
  • Reduced resilience, crying easily, and moodiness
  • Escape fantasies, substance abuse, and sleep disturbance
  • Pessimism and a lack of empathy
  • Disregard for ethics or professional boundaries
  • Feeling unappreciated and emotionally disconnected
  • Work-related anxiety
  • Lack of enjoyment in work

This list is not exhaustive, and being observant of any uncharacteristic behavior in your staff is always the best policy to be sure everyone is doing well.

Six Ways to Reduce Burnout

While burnout is a significant problem, it is not without its solutions. Here are six ways to reduce burnout in your staff:

  1. Create a culture of wellness. Implement a system that allows workers to express their concerns in a way that will allow those issues to be addressed. Encourage self-care for your staff, making sure PTO is taken and everyone is able to maintain a healthy work/life balance. Finally, ensure you are adequately staffed to avoid overwhelming your employees.
  2. Allow flexibility. The struggle to maintain a healthy work/life balance can be a major source of stress. To the greatest degree possible, allow your staff flexibility in their schedules as needed, either through adjusted hours or remote work, so that they are able to ensure a healthy life outside of their career.
  3. Offer mental health support. The medical field is incredibly stressful and the scenarios that healthcare workers encounter every day are quite literally life or death. Make sure counseling is available to your staff, whether that be through mental health insurance benefits or a hotline or website that your employees have access to. Either way, it’s important for your staff to be able to process their stress with a professional as needed.
  4. Recognize their hard work. Regularly show appreciation for your staff’s contributions. Provide meals. Bring in a masseuse to give chair massages. Simply say thank you. It doesn’t matter how you recognize the effort your staff puts in, but it does matter greatly that you acknowledge it.
  5. Eliminate tasks that don’t improve patient care. As much as possible, allow your clinical staff to focus solely on patient care. Administrative work only distracts them from patients and adds to their stress.  Tasks should be distributed accordingly.
  6. Invest in user friendly health IT. Make sure the software used in your practice enhances and streamlines your workflow. Technology should make your staff’s life easier, not more difficult. Consider upgrading your provider’s daily routine by adding voice recognition software, allowing a variety of tasks to be completed verbally. Voice recognition can be used to answer internal email, respond to phone messages from staff, comment on lab results, send messages to patients via the portal, and quickly add clinical details and narrative documentation to encounter notes, increasing efficiency. Solutions such as online scheduling, two-way texting, appointment reminders, and digital intake can ease the burden on your front desk, while solid RCM tools reduce stress for your back office.

While this is not an exhaustive list of the ways to deal with burnout, it’s certainly a good starting point to keep your staff healthy.

Unfortunately, many health care workers deal with burnout right now due to staffing issues and the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s important to maintain open lines of communication with your staff in order to be able to detect when someone is struggling. It’s also important to do whatever you can to reduce burnout in order to avoid its negative effects. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by leveraging technology solutions that can streamline your practice’s workflow and ease the burden on your staff from the front desk to the back office, and everywhere in between.

At Henry Schein MicroMD, we understand the impact that burnout can have on a practice, and that’s why we work diligently to provide the most streamlined and user-friendly technology possible.

If you’re interested in learning more about how MicroMD’s PM and EMR software, or any of our Solutions Central partners, can help your practice to streamline your providers’ workflows, visit or call 1-800-624-8832.

About the author,
Crystal Stanton

Crystal is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Henry Schein MicroMD. Content creation, social media management, and SEO optimization are just a few of her areas of concentration as she seeks to educate clients and prospects alike about the simple, customizable, and connected solutions we offer at MicroMD.

Looking for PM or EMR Software?

MicroMD PM and EMR/EHR  is flexible and can fit almost any specialty. Let us help you get back to the business of healing.

Request Demo

About The Author

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *