In a recent Health Affairs blog post, leaders from 10 prominent health systems described the findings from a September 2016 summit to discuss the problem of burnout among physicians and other health professionals.
A study cited by the authors found that burnout and satisfaction with work-life balance in U.S. physicians worsened from 2011 to 2014. Results show that more than half of U.S. physicians are experiencing at least one symptom of professional burnout.
According to the blog post, symptoms of burnout involve an experience of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and feelings of low achievement and decreased effectiveness. The authors noted that the spike in physician burnout can be attributed to loss of control over work; increased use of performance metrics; increased complexity in medical care; inefficiencies in the practice environment; and the increased use of electronic health records (EHRs).
The authors concluded by committing to 11 action steps to address physician burnout. These include addressing the clerical burden and inappropriate allocation of work to physicians and supporting team-based care models that fully leverage the unique value of physicians.