Healthcare Employee Burnout — Getting Ahead of the Curve

Burnout in healthcare, and building resilience, are key topics at this time. Turnover, safety rates and more are indicators of increased risk of healthcare employee burnout. New ways of working may also be contributing to the fatigue. Is your healthcare organization experiencing these signs?  Axiom Consulting Partners’ Susanna Mlot, Partner, shares thoughts.

Burnout in healthcare and building resilience is a key topic at this point in time. The old methods of assessing whether we have a problem in that domain just aren’t working. Turnover, far too late – by the time you’re looking at turnover numbers, people are out the door. Safety rates – by the time you’ve got safety incidents occurring, medical errors, patient falls, again, caregiver burnout is already an issue. So those are lagging indicators that really aren’t serving well. And some of the work that we’re doing using, as my colleagues describe it, data exhaust and advanced analytics to tap into existing data in the moment and with far less of a time gap, being able to see the areas in a healthcare organization where you may have increased risk, are the new ways of thinking about getting ahead of that curve.

There’s a lot of discussion right now too about new ways of working and the demands of technology on anyone who has to provide input into electronic medical records, for example, and how that is creating workload levels that are not sustainable for professionals in the medical field. And no one’s got a good answer for that because productivity is still the currency du jour in being able to get reimbursed and contribute to margins at a level that will allow a healthcare organization to continue to provide services and do well. So there are no magic bullets yet for that very important set of questions about burnout and resilience, but I think there’s a better path forming to answering them.

Transcript edited for clarity.

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