Physician Burnout: Is Telehealth the Cure?

Protecting your physicians from burnout is incredibly important to not only the health of your practice but to the mental and physical health of your physicians. Physician burnout comes in many different shapes and sizes. The most noticeable indicators include a lack of motivation, decrease in productivity, and an increase in physical illness. Some signs of physician burnout that are not always addressed in the open include depression, the feeling of being unaccomplished, and the lack of desire to complete your work on a daily basis.

For physicians, the impact burnout has on their physical and mental health branches out into their lives outside of the office. Practice owners need to know how to take preventative measures toward physician burnout so that it never grabs hold of their physicians and their practice can achieve their goals, all around.

There are multiple tools that providers can implement to reduce physician burnout, one of them being Telehealth. Telehealth has the ability to positively impact a physician’s daily workflow so that it is no longer overwhelming to them and their lives.

How can Telehealth Reduce Physician Burnout?

1) More Manageable Schedule

Patients are increasingly using telehealth as a means to visit with their physician. For the patient, this means a decrease in wait times and travel costs as well as an increase in access to their physician in a way that makes sense to them. While telehealth has proven to benefit the patient, it does the same for the physician. With Telehealth, providers can reduce physician burnout by making their schedule more manageable. Telehealth makes it possible for providers to see more patients in a day with the ability to start a visit and document that visit directly from the patient’s chart.

2) Reduces the Rush

Without Telehealth, providers visit with their patients the traditional way. In the office, they spend only a few minutes with each patient face-to-face, rushing from patient to patient to keep wait times down. This “rush” frame-of-mind leaves physicians frustrated and feeling like they are not doing what they signed up for. It increases physician burnout, leaving them to feel overwhelmed and discouraged throughout the day, constantly rushing from a visit to visit. With Telehealth, providers are less focused on wait times and more focused on providing quality medical care to their patients.

3) Takes them back to the Patient

Telehealth reduces physician burnout by empowering physicians to refocus on why they started in healthcare in the first place, the patient. Often times, physicians spend more time completing administrative duties rather than actually working with their patients and this is one of the top influencers of physician burnout. By allowing your physicians to document, prescribe, and bill a patient all during a telehealth visit, providers can spend more time focusing on what matters most to them. Instead of being dedicated to the documentation process that keeps them in the office after hours and encourages a negative working environment, they can rededicate themselves to their patients. By offering dedicated, consistent care to their patients, providers feel more positively about the work they are doing.

4) Gets Them Out of The Office

Mentioned before, telehealth encourages normal working hours that get them out of the office. It reduces physician burnout by encouraging physicians to complete a chunk of the administrative work within the visit itself instead of staying after operating hours. By encouraging normal working hours, providers can help their physicians maintain normal lives outside of their working environment. This has a positive impact on both the mental and physical aspects of a physician’s health and should be taken seriously by providers who wish to reduce and illuminate physician burnout at their practice.

To learn more how to implement telehealth at your practice click here.