Physician burnout can be a dangerous thing. When a doctor is tired, overworked or stressed, they are much more likely to make a mistake. That can lead to malpractice lawsuits for the hospital and serious medical issues for the patient.
To address this issue, the Mayo Clinic has put together a team of researchers to create a plan to help identify the causes of doctor burnout, and then build processes to prevent them. The program works through nine different steps. Here’s a look at the areas the study is tackling.
The Mayo Clinic’s 9 Steps for Preventing Physician Burnout
- Acknowledging that there is a problem, and making an honest assessment of the issues.
- Recognizing the role that leadership can play in either preventing or exacerbating physician burnout.
- Using a systematic approach to identify areas of clerical tedium and inefficiency, then finding superior alternatives.
- Cultivating a sense of community in the workplace.
- Using incentives and rewards to motivate doctors and other employees.
- Reevaluating whether the organization’s actions still align with its mission statement.
- Creating policies that advocate work-life balance and proper rest away after work.
- Offering resources to help employees take better care of themselves.
- Using organizational psychology to consider ways that the organization’s structure might be contributing to the problem.
Together these strategies are meant to keep doctors alert and energized in the workplace. The hope is that this creates a win-win scenario, where patients get better care, doctors enjoy their work more, businesses save money on lawsuits and everyone is safer.