Holiday Burnout – How can healthcare providers cope with it?

The holiday season is full of exhaustion and emotional whiplash, with providers and staff vacillating between stress and cheer, which leads to a FastTrack burnout. This burnout can negatively impact every aspect of patient care due to the healthcare providers’ and their support staff’s exhaustion or moral distress. Though the healthcare providers are always grateful to their staff but this holiday season, they need to make sure to outwardly express their gratitude to their staff as they show it to their patients.

We have listed down some steps that healthcare providers can take for this exhausting holiday season.

1. Recognize the hard work: Appreciation is always helpful, and hard work gone unnoticed can have a devastating impact on the morale of your healthcare staff. With healthcare workers already feeling burnout since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, it might be the right time to make sure that you celebrate the achievements of your healthcare staff and make sure that their difficult job is acknowledged.

This acknowledgment or celebration can be in the form of time off or rewards or a festive holiday meal. It can also be as simple as a sincere recognition of their hard work. When your staff or employees recognize their hard work, they are more likely to be engaged and cheerful. This engagement will ultimately reflect down on your patient experience.

2. Bring Flexibility and PTO: Some healthcare environments are more flexible than others. Still, ER doctors or nurses are working in a healthcare emergency environment, and they will have fewer opportunities to make it to their homes in the holiday season. So you need to get creative with scheduling and maybe modifying work schedules. This does not mean that you need to limit work hours as it can negatively impact physicians or doctors over performing due to their compressed schedule.

If you can, then one good option can be to offer your healthcare staff some paid time off and let your staff have time to spend with their family and friends. Though this paid time off during the holiday season might not be possible for every healthcare practice, you can provide some compensatory time off to your staff to enjoy their time at some other instance. Healthcare practice needs to make sure that they communicate the same to your healthcare staff to ensure that they do not feel left out or neglected.

3. Medical Scribes: Utilizing medical scribes and having doctors work with them to manage all of the documentation for their patients and appointments is a good way to spread the work of doctors and support staff. Studies have shown that spreading the work this way has resulted in decreasing doctor burnout from 43% to 14%.

Though medical scribes can be a costly way to go, some practices do not have any additional budget for this new headcount; you could consider automating the workflow and utilizing new-age intuitive tools, which reduce the net work that the doctors have to undertake. One of the examples is to utilize Elixir’s patient portal, which provides the patient with all the necessary details about their health which in return reduces stress on healthcare staff.

4. Assess your EHR: EHRs which were supposed to reduce the burden on the healthcare staff have actually increased it. According to a study, physicians and doctors toil away almost 10.4hrs of their precious time working in an EHR. This inefficiency in the system ultimately leads to burnout. So this holiday time is high time that you start assessing your EHR system and understand how it leads to physician burnout at your practice. Check the features that are lacking in the current EHR? Is the inefficient workflow leading to redundant data entry? Is your electronic health record system not intuitive and automated enough to save your staff’s time? If you cannot satisfactorily answer these questions, then it might be time to upgrade your EHR software.

If you are worried about selecting the right EHR for your healthcare practice, don’t worry. Check out our webinar on Choosing the Right EHR which acts as a checklist before buying a new EHR system.

So, in the end, your healthcare staff is already under huge stress, and that is why it is essential to mitigate it as much as possible. Take care of your staff, and let Elixir turn the holiday season into a happy memory for your staff. Intuitive and automated workflows of Elixir EHR take EHR usability to the next level. Built on the Salesforce platform, Elixir EHR offers complete customizability according to your needs. It enhances your user experience by allowing your care staff to connect anywhere using PC, mobile, or tablet.

Elixir Practice Management Suite is a comprehensive solution consisting of four modules that fit rightly into your healthcare business irrespective of your facility size and type. The Elixir Contact Center module helps manage the entire facility census and the patient intake process. At the same time, the Elixir EHR solution aims at delivering an end-to-end seamless patient care experience. The third module is Elixir Billing, and it effectively fetches data from any EHR platform to process medical claims and manages the entire revenue cycle. Elixir Patient Portal is the last module, and it provides an integrated experience for the patients.

Do fill out this contact form if you feel that Elixir will be an asset to your system.

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