How physician burnout is affecting hospital revenues

Elderly physicians in particular have difficulty adjusting to electronic health records.

Over the past few years, there have been drastic changes to how physicians practice. The Affordable Care Act has more patients than ever seeking care, the implementation of electronic health records are monopolizing doctor's time and shrinking insurance reimbursements force physicians to do more with less.

Faced with these challenges, it is of little surprise that the country is now facing near-crisis levels of physician burnout. According to research by Jackson Healthcare, 42 percent of physicians report feeling dissatisfied in their medical practice.

Many blame the increase in medical documentation and clerical work that keeps doctors up late hours punching in data to electronic health records with notoriously poor usability for adding to doctor's frustration. 

According to the Gallup Business Journal, when physicians feel frustrated and inhibited in their medical practice, both patient care and hospital revenue suffer. Through analysis of the research performed by Jackson Healthcare, in addition to their own surveys, Gallup determined steps hospitals can take to combat physician burnout.

Firstly, Gallup suggests increasing communication between physicians and hospital leadership. Issues are compounded when providers feel that their needs are unaddressed by upper management, or that they are ignorant of the effect that new policies have on physicians. 

Physicians also need opportunities to grow professionally. Increased communication with facility leadership also can assist in this endeavor. Hospitals could promote the expertise of their physician staff by holding lectures, or organize community outreach programs to provide physicians with a means of focusing on patient care instead of the issues preventing them from enjoying practicing medicine. 

If your practice or administration is currently experiencing a backlog of healthcare accounts receivable, consider outsourcing accounts to Professional Medical Services. This allows for more focus on collecting large past-due accounts, and builds up a cash reserve for when the Affordable Care Act is fully in effect.