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Workers in the healthcare sector are susceptible to burnout at a rate well beyond other industries. A recent study from the Mayo Clinic asserts that “physicians remain at increased risk for burnout relative to workers in other fields.”
The burnout problem is widespread. Forty-four percent of physicians who took the Mayo Clinic’s survey reported burnout, where the control group of those surveyed sit at slightly below 30%. Across the board, physicians are far more likely to be burned out than the average person.
For those working in healthcare, curbing that burnout rate should be of the utmost importance. While burnout rates have dropped from 2014, there is still a significant amount of work to be done to improve doctors’ quality of life.
One of the best solutions for those working in healthcare, especially in the age of omnipresent telemedicine, is to look towards replacing manual forms with digital agreements. These digital agreements address the core causes of burnout in healthcare through limiting bureaucratic tasks, shortening the workday, and making the adjustments necessary due to COVID simpler and less stressful.
According to a 2020 survey done by Medscape, the leading cause of burnout, by a significant margin, was the presence of “too many bureaucratic tasks.” Fifty-five percent of those surveyed cited bureaucracy as their primary cause of burnout. This was true across age groups: Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers all tabbed bureaucracy as the top cause of burnout.
It’s unsurprising that the grind of monotonous and uninteresting bureaucracy is a serious hindrance to quality of life. Now more than ever, though, those tasks are a huge part of everyday routines. With telemedicine on the rise, handling the onboarding forms associated with them falls to the physicians.
Finding digital solutions to those bureaucratic tasks is especially important. Transitioning onboarding forms to the digital space and automating that paperwork directly addresses the main concern of physicians. It should be the top priority for any healthcare organization concerned about the quality of life of its practicing doctors.
Sitting right behind bureaucratic processes in causes of burnout is the amount of hours spent in the office. In the Medscape survey, 72% of Millennials, 79% of Generation X, and 82% of Baby Boomers said that they would trade more than $10,000 in salary to work 20% fewer hours per week.
Nearly 10% of each demographic group said they would forfeit more than $50,000 for 20% fewer hours.
This issue can also be addressed by using digital agreements.
Related: What Is A Clickwrap Agreement?
Digital agreements can be automated in a way that should require significantly less effort for physicians to implement. While forms handled in the traditional way require manual entry, digital agreements can be filled out by the patient and stored digitally without doctors having to dot ‘I’s and cross ‘T’s.
The right digital solution should be more efficient for all parties involved. That means doctors can shrink their workday and have more time to recharge their batteries.
COVID-19 has made everyone’s life significantly more stressful. Doctors have borne the brunt of that. In times like these, wherever you can find ways to make things smoother and easier, you should take them. The positive effects are magnified as time goes on.
Ultimately, COVID-19 has forced healthcare providers to take a hard look at what they need to change. With telemedicine now an essential part of healthcare, looking for digital solutions was already on the docket, but these don’t have to be short term solutions.
Doctors need to be protected from burnout if they are to keep delivering high-quality healthcare. One of the best ways to do this is by using digital agreements. From taking the hated bureaucratic work off their desk, to adding more hours to their days, to providing peace of mind in uncertain times, finding opportunities to make manual agreements a thing of the past has huge advantages. It should behoove organizations to investigate digitizing their agreements sooner rather than later.
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