Harvard calls Physician Burnout a Public Health Crisis, Misfires on Action Steps

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Last week, the major healthcare organizations in Massachusetts all agreed that the physician burnout epidemic is a public health crisis ...

... and then missed the mark with their recommendations. 

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The Mass Health and Hospital Association, Mass Med Society, Harvard T. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Global Health Initiative published a position paper titled: 

"A crisis in health care:
A call to action on Physician Burnout"

What took them so long you might wonder. 

Since they are coming late to the party, you would expect they will rock the RECOMMENDATIONS section of their White Paper, right?

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In this post, let me use the sharp edge of our 10,000 hours of real world experience treating and preventing burnout with 163 client organizations to date --

... to show you exactly how the four main recommendations of this consensus statement of academics Miss the Mark.

I can assure you things are a little different at ground level than they may appear from a literature review in the ivory tower. 

Let's Dive In. 

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Tags: stop physician burnout, physician burnout public health crisis, physician burnout prevention strategy

Stop Physician Burnout - first, STOP Doing Stupid Stuff

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

To stop physician burnout in large healthcare organizations, here is a key EMR management principle - in Latin of course:

Primum Non Actio Stupidus

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This is Blog Post #285

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A recent article in NEJM highlights two fundamental burnout prevention principles - Leaders and Managers, please listen up:
  • STOP making the doctors and nurses do stupid things

  • If you want to know what these stupid things are ... all you have to do is ask the doctors and nurses

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From our position in the trenches of the physician burnout epidemic, I can't state this strongly enough to senior healthcare leaders. 

Primum Non Actio Stupidus

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Tags: dike drummond md, emr, electronic medical records, stop physician burnout, primum non actio stupidus, stop doing stupid stuff

The Physician's 2019 Breakthrough Process - one hour to make 2019 your best year yet

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

In about one hour, answering these 10 questions can make 2019 your best year yet

[ Here's Your Free Worksheet - Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet ]

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What would it take to make 2019 YOUR Best Year Yet?

Take a single hour now to fill out the Physician's 2019 Breakthrough Process Worksheet -- and watch the difference it makes ...

DOWNLOAD, SAVE and PRINT OUT the .PDF worksheet below get started. It just takes an hour about an hour to answer the questions --- automatically setting you up for an incredible year ahead. Take a quiet moment this weekend, with a cup of your favorite tea, to fill out the pages and start building your 2017 breakthrough.

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Here's Your Free Worksheet - Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet
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Tags: dike drummond, the happy md, breakthrough process, breakthru process, strategic plan, best year yet

2018 Holiday Thank You - Dike Drummond MD and TheHappyMD.com

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Thank you so much for allowing us to serve you and learn from you in 2018.

Peace, Rest, Gratitude to you and your family in this Holiday Season!

Here are three blog posts tailor made for the holidays.

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Tags: stop physician burnout

Stop Physician Burnout - The Lightworker's Dilemma

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Burnout Has One of its Roots in a Choice You Made a Long Time Ago ... You Chose to Be a Lightworker

Physicians, NP's, PA's, Nurses, MA's ... anyone who touches patients in the course of their job ... we are a Tribe of Lightworkers -- and that has consequences.

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This is Blog Post #283

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Remember back when you decided to go to medical school?

Remember that fork in the road. You could apply to medical school. OR you could do anything else. You chose to become a doctor and here we are. I think we can agree none of us had any awareness of the full array of life-long consequences that decision threw into play. Right?

In this blog post let me show you
1) A deeper understanding of some of the most difficult aspects of being a doctor 
2) And six of our most popular tools to maintain your energy, faith and empathy when things get tough.

 

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Tags: stop physician burnout, lightworker, societal determinants of health

Stop Physician Burnout - Two Kinds of Habits - Beyond Good and Bad

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

"The secret to permanently breaking any bad habit is to love something greater than the habit." ~ Bryant McGill

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This is Blog Post #282

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Habits are powerful behavior patterns with predictable results. To change your practice and your quality of life, you must change your habits.

Repeat the Same Action => You will always get the Same Result
That is a Habit and that is also Einstein's Insanity Trap.

Some Habits produce desirable results.
We call those Good Habits

Some Habits produce undesirable results.
We typically call those Bad Habits - weaknesses, foibles, character flaws, "the human condition", addictions, Achille's heels.

These are both habits of DOING
Things You DO that are either good or bad

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Tags: einsteins insanity definition, stop physician burnout, habits

Why did we let Electronic Medical Records cause Physician Burnout? It should have been a simple Staffing Issue.

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Every time you survey a group of physicians on their biggest stressors, Electronic Medical Records is a clear #1.

Why is that? Why are the implementation of electronic medical records and the dramatic increase in physician burnout synchronous?

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In my work with over 140 healthcare organizations to date, the answer is plain as day on nearly every job site I have visited:

This is simple OVERWHELM - in the front lines of patient care, there is too much work and not enough hands on deck

The whirlwind of EMR has destroyed many physician's ability to be effective at the point of care. It is a constant distraction to quality decisions, effective communication and a clear threat to the health and wellbeing of the physicians and their staff members.

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Key Resource:
The Burnout Prevention Strategy Engine
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Electronic Medical Records and other sources of digital overload (texts, email, patient portals, cell phone apps) have changed the nature of a physician's work and massively increased the number of tasks at the point of care. Studies show doctors spend up to two hours in the EMR for every hour of face time with patients.

It would be No Big Deal if the healthcare industry had done the most appropriate thing ... increased staffing levels to handle the increased workload. With rare exception, employers have simply dumped the data entry responsibilities on the doctors and other front line staff.

This is a completely avoidable crisis.

Ineffective management of digital overload has turned EMR into a Physician Burnout Issue ...
when it should simply be a Staffing Issue !!

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Tags: emr, electronic medical records, stop physician burnout, Team Based Care

Silly things Physician Leaders say about Physician Burnout - Part Two

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

"Everything was O.K. around here until you showed up"

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This is Part Two of a series of 
Silly Things Physician Leaders Sometimes Say

Someone in the senior leadership team will often aim that comment at you after the successful launch of your burnout prevention program. I consider it a healthy sign for your organization. Senior leaders do not always share my viewpoint. 

Here is the simple - and silly - thinking behind that statement:

  • Before your burnout prevention program launch no one talked about stress and burnout.
  • Now everyone is talking about it and offering suggestions for improvements. 
  • So it must be your fault, right?
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Tags: prevent physician burnout, physician leadership

Investing in Physician Wellbeing brings a Dual Competitive Advantage

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

The Business Case for Investing in Physician Wellbeing - a Dual Competitive Advantage for Early Adopters

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This is Blog Post #279

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In 2017 an article in JAMA Internal Medicine by Shanafelt, Goh and Sinsky (JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(12):1826-1832) made a comprehensive business case for investing in physician well-being. I highly recommend the article. The UCSD HEAR Program has mounted the full PDF document at this link. I recommend you read and absorb every word.

In this blog post let me show you a different way of looking at the benefits to the organization of taking better care of your physicians and staff. 

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Key Resource: 
Find Our Corporate Support Services at This Link
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The Current State of Affairs

For the individual physician burnout can cause emotional and physical exhaustion, compassion fatigue, cynicism, loss of a sense of purpose in their practice, depression, alcohol and drug use, divorce, shortening of their career and even doubles all physician's risk of dying of suicide - regardless of their gender.

Organizational symptoms of burnout include decreased quality of care and patient satisfaction, higher medical error rates, higher rates of malpractice suits, physician disengagement, dissatisfaction and disruptive behavior and higher turnover for both physicians and staff.

Remember too that burnout prevalence in US physicians in the last 4 years or so has hovered at 50% or more regardless of what group of physicians have been surveyed. Now notice something else ... 

How is it you can read those paragraphs and NOT BE PULLING YOUR HAIR OUT and telling your friends and family not to go to the doctor or hospital until we FIGURE THIS OUT?????

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Tags: Physician burnout, physician leadership, physician resilience, physician wellbeing

The Whirlwind of the Practice of Medicine - Seven Ways to Step Out

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

All doctors practice medicine from within the center of a powerful whirlwind

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This is Blog Post #278
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Your practice is a mini-tornado of:

  • Repetitive actions with your patients and staff
  • Thousands of clicks and keystrokes in documentation
  • Competing demands for your attention from email/text/voicemail
  • And dozens of decisions, some of which actually involve life and death

And that's a slow day ... right?

It is a legitimate whirlwind - a Dorothy-on-the-Kansas-prairie twister that can tie you up in knots and even make you forget you forgot lunch ... sometimes. That same whirlwind is a core cause of physician burnout too.

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Related:
Our Complete Burnout Prevention Tools Library
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How is Your Whirlwind Feeling These Days?

You get to decide how satisfied you are with your practice. You can do that right now quite simply - even though you have been conditioned to NOT ask yourself questions like these:

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Tags: einsteins insanity definition, stop physician burnout, physician practice satisfaction


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