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A message from Bill Schwacke, Healthcare Practice Lead, on recent reports about burnout in the healthcare industry.

It’s no secret that the healthcare industry has experienced more than its fair share of challenges within the past year. Even back in 2019, clinician burnout was already a concern, contributing to a 16 percent decrease in patient satisfaction, approximately $4.6 billion in costs related to physician turnover and reduced clinical hours, and doubling the likelihood of an adverse patient safety event. Fast-forward to 2021, and COVID-19 has exacerbated the situation even further, with The Washington Post noting that approximately 3 in 10 healthcare workers considered leaving the profession; while more than half are burned out, and around 6 in 10 claims that pandemic stress impacted their mental health. And according to reporting by the AHRQ, “Clinicians who have been involved in errors or serious safety events may be at increased risk for burnout,” which then can become a serious patient safety and quality challenge.

To combat these issues, and to restore confidence and reduce turnover, you need to address the causes of burnout at their root, including measures such as:

  • Reducing administrative burdens and tedious tasks, which can take clinicians away from direct patient care
  • Improving communication and workflow through the strategic use of software to implement automatic reminders and notifications, which helps reduce human error and improves employee engagement and cognitive overload
  • Increasing physician engagement to eliminate process inefficiencies

To truly address the core of this continuing crisis, you need solutions that not only address the symptoms of burnout, but provide strategies for preventing burnout in the first place. One way to effectively achieve this is to implement an organization-wide and systemic plan to monitor, analyze, and mitigate the root causes of burnout. Healthcare risk leaders can spearhead effective solutions by implementing frameworks to leverage the technology they already use on a daily basis.

Moving from Reactive to Proactive

The right healthcare risk management technology can enable physicians to engage with patients more fully. Physicians who feel connected to the core purpose of their work are less likely to burn out, and more likely to provide quality patient care. A healthcare risk program, including patient safety and quality, and Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) software is ideal for addressing a systemic problem like burnout because it shifts the focus of an organization from reactive to proactive. By accurately monitoring for the specific causes/symptoms of physician burnout, hospitals can mitigate problems before they become huge concerns.

Origami can help prevent burnout

We get it — sustainable change is challenging. Trying to improve (or start building) a successful risk mitigation program is no different. Origami Risk’s solutions provide flexible reporting functionality that allows you to deliver timely information to the most critical stakeholders, demonstrate progress, and keep everyone on strategy.

To learn more about how risk management technologies can help to prevent and mitigate the effects of burnout, take a look at some of our resources below. If you'd like to learn more about how Origami Risk can fit into your organization, feel free to reach out to me directly or start a conversation with us.

— Bill Schwacke, Healthcare Practice Lead