Avoiding Provider Burnout With A Virtual Answering Service

We provide around-the-clock coverage focused on bettering both the patients’ and providers’ experiences. Call 800-756-3080

How Healthcare Call Scheduling Services Help Providers Rebalance

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated a healthcare system that was already overwhelmed. The toll the pandemic took on both providers and patients is evident. Providers have reported burnout at alarming rates. The Mayo Clinic Proceedings, a peer-reviewed journal, recently published a study where at least 63 percent of providers surveyed reported burnout at the end of 2021. This is an increase of nearly 20 percent since 2017. [1]

However, provider burnout can be mitigated and prevented. Identifying why provider burnout occurs and the impact that it can have can help managers and physicians to create a plan moving forward.

Is Avoiding Provider Burnout Possible?

While avoiding provider burnout entirely is not feasible, managing provider burnout and reducing rates is possible. Keep in mind that each type of medical doctor has unique experiences. For example, doctors practicing in emergency medicine have higher rates of burnout than some specialty doctors.

Here are some common reasons for physician burnout and how a virtual call answering service can help maintain providers’ work-life balance.  

Physicians Are Overwhelmed With Messages and Calls Without An Answering Service

In the last two years, health care providers have seen a drastic uptick in messages related to electronic medical records. Without the proper assistance, healthcare facilities may struggle with managing the high influx in contacts. [2]

Unfortunately, physicians and their practices may not be equipped to field a high influx of calls and requests. The stress of operating with limited resources may be one cause of provider burnout, but not the only one.

Physicians Report Spending Less Time Interacting With Patients

Virtual medical appointments are common practice. However, virtual appointments mean less in-person time that physicians spend with their patients. In addition, studies have shown that nearly half of the time a physician is working they are entering data or doing desk work. For providers who derive job satisfaction from in-person patient interactions, less time with patients means an increased risk of burnout.

The Impact of Provider Burnout

When providers are under pressure and overworked, medical errors are more likely to occur. Burnout among providers can also result in an increased risk of suicide and alcohol abuse, according to a report published in the National Library of Medicine. [3] Even the U.S. surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy, published an advisory in May calling for changes in our nation’s healthcare system to avoid provider burnout.  

Not only can provider burnout result in negative health consequences for the physician, but it can also impact patient care. When a provider is not operating in optimal conditions, they may not be able to provide the appropriate level of attention and care to patients. In addition, provider burnout can leave healthcare facilities underequipped to manage the influx of patients extending wait times for appointments from weeks to months. The best way to prevent patient care from being negatively impacted by a provider shortage is to take proactive measures to rebalance resources.

Contact Us For Healthcare Call Scheduling Services

One successful strategy to minimizing provider burnout is reallocating resources. Reallocating resources can start with outsourcing administrative and scheduling tasks. Our virtual healthcare receptionists are available via phone, chat and text 24/7, 365 days a year. No matter when a client calls, they can be connected with a live person to schedule appointments, leave messages and provide information. We integrate directly with your existing client management system provide secure transmission of data.

Our receptionists are empathetic, experienced and can immediately step in to alleviate the stress. We provide around-the-clock coverage focused on bettering both the patients’ and providers’ experiences. Call 800-756-3080 or contact us online to learn more about our virtual call answering services.

 

Sources:

1.     The New York Times.  Physician Burnout Has Reached Distressing Levels, New Research Finds.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/29/health/doctor-burnout-pandemic.html

2.     Forbes. Have We Overcomplicated The American Physician Burnout Conversation?

https://www.forbes.com/sites/sachinjain/2022/10/17/have-we-overcomplicated-the-american-physician-burnout-conversation/?sh=61d6de237545

3.     National Library of Medicine. Burnout and medical errors among American surgeons.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19934755/  

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