Physician Burnout and Healthcare Quality - a Chicken and Egg Conundrum

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

There is plenty of evidence that Physician Burnout has a negative effect on a doctor's quality of care

Make's sense, right?

If you are a physician who is

  • exhausted
  • cynical and sarcastic
  • and doubting that your work is making a difference

- the three cardinal symptoms of burnout - you are clearly not on your "A Game" with your patients that day.

The question for physician leaders is a simple WHY?

Why are your doctors burned out?

Quad Aim Physician Leader Retreat


Please don't doubt their Resilience.

Physicians are some of the most resilient people on the planet. We survived residency for heaven's sake. That should be all the evidence you need of our ability to take a lickin' and keep on tickin'.

  • We are some pretty tough CANARIES.
  • What is it about your COAL MINE that is taking us down?


Yes, burned out doctors provide lower quality care.
And I invite you to dig a little deeper. Notice that the doctor's level of stress and burnout and the quality of their care are in a reciprocal relationship.

The burnout - quality of care link is actually a CHICKEN AND THE EGG CONUNDRUM.

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This is Blog Post #310
Complete Blog Library  is Here
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Which of these comes first?

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Tags: Physician burnout, healthcare quality, quality of medical care

When healthcare quality measures fail us all

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

When healthcare quality measures fail us all 

Now that we are in the age of Pay For Performance ( P4P ) we are only beginning to learn how difficult it is to achieve the twin towers of 

  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Quality Care

Patient satisfaction is a very controversial subject - with the counterintuitive "percent of top" as our measuring stick and the universal acknowledgement that patient demands should not always be honored carte blanche. ( "I need my #90 Rx of Oxy for my fibro, Doc. The pain is awful." )

Can we at least be clear on the definition of Quality?

You would think we could find more solid ground with respect to how to measure quality. But NO! Here comes a study showing just how hard it is to define and incentivize quality care.

I can assure you that situations where you follow a care protocol to the letter, the patient has a bad outcome and you are penalized despite deploying the "best practice" only add to the stress that drives the epidemic of physician burnout.

Full details below ... on a best practice protocol and quality incentive that failed everyone involved
... especially the patient

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The evolution of DVT as an
"every once in a while is OK" event

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Tags: Physician burnout, pay for performance in healthcare, healthcare quality, healthcare quality measures, care protocol, never event


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