More than two years into the coronavirus pandemic, physicians and healthcare workers are still being put through extremely stressful hours and experiences. Many have been, or are beginning to, suffer from burnout.
What exactly is burnout? According to ADA’s medical knowledge team, it “is a condition experienced by workers and other professionals, in which they develop depression-like symptoms as a result of aspects of their role. Burnout may manifest as showing signs of physical, mental and/or emotional exhaustion as a result of stress related to their job or workplace.” Burnout can be experienced in any industry or role but is startlingly present in the healthcare industry. Not only do physicians have to bear physical demands on the job, but they also likely have to endure extremely emotional situations. In fact, AAMC research has found that 40% of practicing physicians feel burned out at least once a week.
The Great Resignation, another result of the pandemic, came about as workers tried to prioritize their mental and physical wellbeing over the past year, and it is hitting the medical field particularly hard, leading to massive staff shortages. In fact, according to the Healthcare Finance magazine, healthcare is the second largest sector hit by the Great Resignation. They also shared that the “number of quits surged to 4.53 million for the month of October (2021)”
Finding Balance with Telemedicine
Now, I’m sure you’re already aware of most of these issues. In fact, your hospital or health system could have already been hit by shortages, unable to fully provide the quality of services you’d like for your patients. It’s a hard balance to draw – how do you provide the best patient care possible, while also allowing your physicians the time to rest and avoid burnout? That’s where telemedicine services can deliver exceptional value.
Telemedicine can deliver a range of benefits to help offset the physician shortage challenge. By filling in gaps during overnight hours, or delivering enhanced access to specialists, hospitals and health systems are able to use telemedicine to improve patient retention, improve staff physician work/life balance and increase overall quality and reputation of healthcare services. It has been a valued resource for many hospitals during the pandemic, not only to deliver night coverage, but to also cover staff shortages due to sickness or quarantines. However, the value doesn’t end there. When used as an ongoing resource, telemedicine also helps hospitals admit more patients and improve overall quality of care for better patient outcomes.
We’re in very uncertain times, but one thing is for sure – physician shortages are likely to continue and patient needs will as well. To best provide for your hospital, your staff and your community, consider adding telemedicine as an additional resource for your staff and patients.
Here at Eagle, we aim to lighten the load on your physicians and clinical staff. Read here to learn more about how our telemedicine models work and the specialties we offer.