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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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 leadership, physician wellbeing, Physician burnout, physician resilience

Stop Physician Burnout: Dealing Effectively with Negative Emotions

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Stop Physician Burnout: Dealing Effectively with Negative Emotions

Like the layers of an onion, physician burnout is often wrapped in layers of negative emotions. In this post, let me show you a simple technique - it only takes 15 seconds - to release negative emotions as they arise and become the authentic eye of the storm in your practice day.

Peeling back the layers of the onion of bad feelings

If you find yourself overwhelmed, exhausted and out of balance with your practice -- after all your years of training and hard work, and this isn't anything like what you dreamed of back in the day ... well that recognition just feels bad.

And then you notice that the fact you feel bad about your career - well that feels bad too. 

[Related: Become the Eye of the Storm in your Practice Day]

Many physicians then begin to wonder about the source of this distressing situation. The little voice in your head might kick in by whispering:

What's wrong with you? You are a successful doctor. You have nothing to complain about. You can take this. Quit whining and get back to work. Your patients come first, dang it.

And if you do begin to take better care of yourself -- start creating a little bit of life balance and building some recharge activities into your week -- a different negative emotion often comes knocking at the door of your awareness ... GUILT.

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Tags: Physician burnout, release negative emotions, mindfulness

Physician Burnout Bibliography and Comprehensive Reference Library

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

The National Academy of Medicine just published the first discussion paper from their Action Collaborative on Clinician Wellbeing and Resilience

And it contains a hidden bonus for all Quadruple Aim savvy change agents.

It is a wide-ranging summary of the issue of Physician Burnout and its negative effects on all aspects of healthcare. 

It ends in classic academic fashion with a prolonged and detailed plea for more research.

Perhaps the most fascinating part of the whole paper is a comprehensive list of physician burnout study references - by far the largest I have ever seen. I share them with you here if you ever find yourself in need of a study to "prove" burnout's negative effects and convince leadership to take a stand for the Quadruple Aim.

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Tags: Physician burnout, physician burnout bibliograpy

Stop Physician Burnout - is Physician Resilience Training a "Con"

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Stop Physician Burnout - is Physician Resilience Training a "Con Job?"

An article on physician suicide in junior Australian doctors this week contained the following bold statement:

'She was eaten alive'

The "con" of building physician resilience has left junior doctors vulnerable to mental illness and suicide by ignoring the systemic failures of the medical professionSpeaking at a session on mental health and wellbeing in Sydney alongside Health Minister Brad Hazzard, Ms Micaela Abbott said her sister was "eaten alive" by the medical profession. 

Dr. Chloe Abbott was 29 and a fourth-year doctor-in-training when she died in January, one of several recent suicides by doctors that prompted the Health Minister and the medical profession to act. 

"My family had really detested the term 'resilience'," Ms Abbott said, recounting her sister's fortitude as a champion swimmer who represented Australia in international competition. 

"That's not something you can do without resilience," she told the crowd of students about to join the profession that Dr Abbott's family and colleagues believed contributed to her death. "

Here is the full article:

It, of course, begs the question -- is the concept of Physician Resilience a con job to defend a hostile work environment?

The answer is Yes and No.

Resilience is necessary but insufficient to prevent physician burnout and hard wire the Quadruple Aim into the workplace.

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Tags: Physician burnout, physician resilience

Physician Burnout - What to do When the Thrill is Gone

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Physician Burnout - what to do when the Thrill is Gone

Remember back to your first clinical rotations in medical school ... how exciting it was to finally be face to face with live patients. Bedside conversations, recognizing skin lesions and the signs of CHF. What a thrill it all was. Remember?

How much does the word THRILL apply to your feelings about your practice ... now?

In the last month, how often did you say to yourself in a quiet moment, "wow, that was really cool" about a patient, a diagnosis, a procedure, a conversation with a family member or member of your staff? I sincerely hope you run out of fingers to count them all up.

However, if that is not true for you - if the thrill is gone or you can feel it slipping away - what can be done about it? Can you get the thrill back?

READ MORE NOW

Tags: Physician burnout

The Quadruple Aim - Three Components

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Three Key Components of the Quadruple Aim

Medicine's new Quadruple Aim is the realization that building a quality healthcare delivery system is a lot like building a house.

If you have a good foundation, you can build a solid structure. 

If your foundation is unstable, weak or inadequate - your house will be in a constant state of falling apart. You cobble things back together, just in time for the walls to start crumbling again. 

If the "house" you want to build is a high quality, cost effective healthcare system with high patient satisfaction ... this is the old Triple Aim ... the only legitimate foundation is the health and wellbeing of the workers in the system.

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The Quadruple Aim IS the foundation of quality healthcare.

Every single contact with patients, test ordered, procedure performed and drug prescribed ...  is predicated on the assumption that your people are happy and healthy and enjoying their work.

Your ability to fulfill the promises of the Triple Aim is based on the assumption that your employees are at their best. Unfortunately we know that is measureably NOT TRUE. 

If your workers are burned out - quality and satisfaction go out the window and your system lurches from one crisis to the next. 

With recent studies suggesting that 50% of doctors are burned out on any given office day, the logical question is HOW?

HOW do you install the Quadruple Aim in your organization? 

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Tags: quadruple aim, Physician burnout

Stop Physician Burnout - when even a scribe is not enough

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Stop Physician Burnout - when even a scribe is not enough

I was in New Jersey this week working with a group that has several Scribe Pilot Projects in place. I was talking to the physicians about

- How they use their scribes
- The difference a scribe has made to the experience of their practice

And was shocked by their attitude and observations. I can summarize the conversations as follows:

"Sure ... a scribe is great/amazing/awesome ... AND it is NOT ENOUGH"

WHAT ???!!!

That may come as a shock if you - dear reader - do not have a scribe of your own. I suspect it is especially shocking if you think a scribe is the solution to your own stress at work.

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Tags: Physician burnout, medical scribe

Physician Burnout and the Dangers of Venting - VIDEO Training

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Physician Burnout and the Dangers of Venting

When I deliver the Burnout Proof LIVE Workshop we always have a little discussion about VENTING. Most of the conversation revolves around if venting is healthy or not. About half of any audience will answer "Yes" to that question. I beg to differ.

Venting is very common in some workplaces, but that does not make it healthy or normal. In fact venting can be downright dangerous because it has the power to shackle you to the throne of Einstein's Insanity Trap.

Watch this three minute video to learn more.

 

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Tags: Physician burnout, venting not enough, einsteins insanity definition

Prevent Physician Burnout - curated resource libraries now available

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Prevent Physician Burnout - curated resource libraries now available.

When you are aware that physician burnout is not a problem and understand its true nature as a never ending balancing act, it will become obvious you will never find a solution - the key is to focus on building your strategy to maintain balance.

We teach 117 ways to prevent burnout. Each has been proven in the real world by hundreds of physicians in all specialties AND that is a LOT of options to wade through. 

We are excited to share our new curated resource libraries so you can cut to the chase and find the best burnout prevention tools quickly and easily.

Use the links below to dive into our curated collections of tools to Get Home Sooner, Build Life Balance and become a More Effective Leader.

1) CLICK HERE for Get Home Sooner Tools

Each of the tools on this page will make sure you actually get home sooner. The library includes our EMR strategy recommendations, BID Huddle power tips, Batch Processing formula, the antidote to Multitasking and much more. All just a click away.

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Tags: prevent physician burnout, Physician burnout, physician leadership

Physician Burnout - What is the Real Prevalence Rate?

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

A new Family Practice study is showing only 25% prevalence of physician burnout. Does this much lower number create ...

  • a controversy

  • a "winner" in the "we're less burned out than you" derby

  • or just another data point

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There is a new -- and uniquely structured -- study in the Family Practice literature out this month showing a physician burnout prevalence rate of only 25% that is shaking up the widely accepted notion that over half of US doctors are most likely suffering from burnout.  (BTW, the background rate of burnout in the general population of non-physician professionals is widely quoted as being the same 25%)

Let me show you the three absolutely unique features of this research project which render it one-of-a-kind in the universe of physician burnout prevalence studies.  

This new study may be the first step in solving a mystery that has existed since the very first prevalence study was handed out over forty years ago.  I will show you this below as well. 

READ MORE NOW

Tags: physician burnout prevalence, physician burnout survey, Physician burnout

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