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What is ER physician schedule burnout

Posted on 11/5/2014 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software articles
Did you know that the burnout rate for emergency physicians is three times higher than the average doctor and more than any other profession? This includes all other areas of the medical field and fields outside the medical industry. While more than 65 percent of emergency physicians report burnout only 27.8 percent of professionals in the general population do. One leading contributor to this colossal problem is the ER physician schedule.

What Does Physician Burnout Mean for Emergency Departments?

Staffing is already tight in many emergency departments. Emergency medicine scheduling presents a substantial challenge as it is for this reason. When physicians face burnout, they are more likely to call in sick, take extended leaves, or leave this field of specialty medicine altogether – placing additional strain on already overburdened schedules.

Ultimately, it has a significant and negative impact on the ability of emergency departments to provide quality care to the patients under your care.

Symptoms of Physician Burnout

Knowing the symptoms of physician burnout can help you identify signs of trouble so you can work on possible intervention before the problems become too big to handle easily. They include:

  • Emotional Exhaustion
  • Mental Exhaustion
  • Cynicism
  • Depersonalization or Lack of Compassion
  • No Sense of Accomplishment
  • Self-Medicating
  • Personal Relationships Suffer
  • Deteriorating Health
  • Increasing Sense of Isolation or Withdrawing from Others

The more significant the symptoms, the more problematic the process of coming back from the edge. The key is to take notice of your physicians and to use their state of mind and attitudes to help you with your shift scheduling priorities.

Avoiding Physician Burnout in Your ER

One of the most important things you can do to help prevent burnout from becoming the rule rather than the exception in your emergency department is to invest in software to handle your physician scheduling needs.

The ER physician schedule is not only about keeping your emergency department adequately staffed. It’s also about seeing to it that the physicians on your staff have their needs met too. It can be tricky, depending on the size of your emergency staff to see to this when creating a schedule by hand. It’s simply too easy to make scheduling hours that require too many hours in a week or short turnarounds for physicians, or to avoid additional shifts due to callouts or scheduling errors.

Software accounts for all these things for you. It keeps track of shift preferences, last shifts worked, on-call rotations, vacation requests, time off requests, shift changes, and more, while giving your physicians a greatly improved work life balance.

Shift scheduling software will not end all bouts of ER physician burnout. It will, however, help you reduce the instances in your emergency department while boosting physician loyalty, providing more consistent quality care for your patients, and reducing absenteeism in your emergency facility among physicians.

It’s a present you give to everyone in the emergency room from the administration, to the physicians, and ultimately to the community of patients you serve.

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