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Reduce Provider Burnout With Telehealth

Posted: April 03, 2023

Burnout among healthcare providers is becoming an increasingly common problem. Overworked providers are struggling to keep up with the demands of their job. This can lead to poor patient care and a decrease in the quality of care overall.

Telehealth can help reduce provider burnout by providing a way for them to connect with patients remotely. This can allow them to take some of the pressure off of themselves, as well as improve patient outcomes. Healthcare organizations that implement telehealth into their workflow can help their providers stay healthy and happy, while also providing better care for their patients.

What Is Provider Burnout?

Provider burnout is an increasingly discussed phenomenon in the healthcare setting and describes a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by long-term stress.

Common symptoms include:

  • Fatigue

  • Cynicism

  • Depersonalization of Patients

  • Difficulty Sleeping and Concentrating

  • Loss of Enjoyment in the Job

  • Decreased Empathy for Patients

While not formally classified as a medical condition or mental health disorder, provider burnout is a serious problem plaguing many healthcare providers. Prolonged exposure to the strain of dealing with difficult patient cases can lead to long-term negative effects on relationships and career satisfaction. Thus it is important to pay attention to signs of burnout in order to provide effective quality care.

It’s also worth noting that provider burnout is incredibly costly to the entire healthcare industry. According to a 2019 NAM study, provider burnout costs the medical system an estimated $4.6 billion dollars per year.

What Are the Causes of Provider Burnout?

Provider burnout is a common challenge faced by healthcare professionals across the world. It can be triggered by a combination of factors, ranging from emotional exhaustion and lack of control to an overload of administrative work and a growing shortage of healthcare providers.

The fast-paced environment of medical practice can also lead to burnout as staff struggle to keep up with ever-increasing demands. Poor levels of support, including limited time for supervision, and review. or mentoring can increase feelings of frustration as tasks often seem insurmountable.

Feelings of powerlessness and low morale due to inadequate resources or absentee management can also contribute to burnout among providers. Ultimately, provider burnout has physical and mental health implications on both individuals and the effectiveness of healthcare organizations as a whole.

How Provider Burnout Impacts Patient Care

Burnout among healthcare providers is a growing issue. According to the American Medical Association, the rate of provider burnout is increasing quite rapidly; 62.8% of physicians experienced at least one manifestation of burnout in 2021, compared with 38.2% in 2020.

Not only can it adversely affect the well-being and effectiveness of healthcare providers, but it also has detrimental effects on patient safety and satisfaction. It is not uncommon for patients to encounter long wait times or receive less attention when their provider is feeling burned out - both factors that can negatively impact patient outcomes in the long term.

Thus, understanding and addressing the causes of provider burnout is essential to creating positive healthcare experiences for both providers and patients alike.

Enter Telehealth

One way to reduce provider burnout is by taking advantage of the convenience and flexibility of telehealth. Telehealth eliminates the need for physical visits and allows providers to quickly access patient data, securely communicate with patients, review test results remotely, and host virtual office visits.

Moreover, these solutions can help reduce stress, decrease exhaustion by streamlining clerical tasks like scheduling appointments, improve job satisfaction, and allow providers more autonomy in their work environment.

Although traditional office-based visits remain critical for some medical services, there are many opportunities in which providers can utilize telehealth to lessen burnout.

How Does Telehealth Work?

Telehealth has seen a surge in popularity, especially with the onset of COVID-19. Leveraging digital communication and online technologies allows for clinical appointments to take place remotely between a patient and their healthcare professional.

Video conferencing services such as Skype or FaceTime are often utilized, enabling practitioners to effectively assess the root cause of concerns. Furthermore, it also offers patients convenience and flexibility, allowing them to remain in the safety and comfort of their own homes while being able to access the same quality care they would receive if attending an appointment face-to-face.

How Telehealth Can Reduce Provider Burnout

Telehealth is a viable option for reducing provider burnout. By offering healthcare or counseling services remotely, the physical demands on providers are lessened by limiting daily in-person visits. This enables healthcare professionals to provide faster and better care for their patients.

Additionally, clinicians that utilize telehealth have reported increased job satisfaction associated with providing higher quality and more personalized care while suffering fewer time constraints and exhaustion.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is also a valuable resource that’s gaining traction in the medical field to make it easier for doctors to manage their workload and understand their patients, and for patients to get their questions answered efficiently.

Some other ways that AI can be used include the development of real-time summaries of medical conversations, virtual nurses, health record analysis, visit scheduling, long-distance patient diagnosis, mental health support, medical training, and remote patient monitoring. A quality telehealth provider should be seeking out ways to incorporate AI into their practice and use it to its fullest capability. 

Our TrustVideo telehealth platform leverages AI to generate visit summary reports, enabling providers to have more meaningful patient encounters.  

Overall, telehealth provides an effective strategy for reducing provider burnout while meeting the needs of their patient base.

Conclusion - Telehealth Is the Way Forward From Provider Burnout

In conclusion, it is important to understand and recognize provider burnout in order to effectively address and reduce the problem.

Provider burnout can be caused by a number of different factors including high patient load demands, lack of control over one's work schedule, low job satisfaction, and feelings of isolation.

Telehealth is a major resource that healthcare organizations of all sizes can utilize to reduce some of the burdens on providers by allowing them to see patients remotely. This limits the potential for the exhaustion that is often attributed to overloaded patient schedules and understaffed medical facilities by allowing providers to give faster, better, and more personalized care to their patients. This increases patient satisfaction in return.

Telehealth can also help increase access to care for patients who might otherwise have difficulty getting to a clinic or hospital such as those who live in remote areas, those who do not have reliable transportation or patients who are unable to leave their homes due to accessibility limitations.

It is important to continue exploring ways to reduce provider burnout because it has significant negative consequences for both providers and their patients. Telehealth should be at the front of that exploration and discussion in determining the way forward from provider burnout.

Are you considering implementing telehealth in your organization? Request a demo today to see how Let’s Talk Interactive can help your organization curb provider burnout.