Why Providers Should Stop Ignoring Burnout Among Clinical Support Staff - MedCity News

Since the pandemic began, doctors and nurses have been paying a lot of attention to burnout. While this issue is incredibly deserving of headlines and remedial efforts, it is important that providers are mindful of the burnout experienced by their clinical support staff.

“Clinical support staff initiate everything that happens in the provider’s office. Their well-being affects their ability to perform optimally in their role of calming anxious patients, smooth office flow, and ensuring appropriate follow-up. Paying close attention to and caring for support staff is a top priority for many of the providers we work with,” said Meg Aranow, the company’s senior vice president of patient communications. Artery (former OK Hello).

Although levels have declined since their pandemic peak, burnout remains high among clinical support staff, according to a report released Tuesday by Artera. The report found that 70% of clinical support staff experience moderate to severe burnout, with 32% categorizing their burnout as high to severe.

Independent research firm PureSpectrum surveyed more than 300 support staff who are responsible for communicating with patients – including nurses, physician assistants and front desk workers.

Among support staff surveyed, 56% say that the process of communicating with the patient is a direct cause of their burnout. Nearly 70% of respondents spend two hours or more each day interacting with patients, with 1 in 5 reporting four or more hours per day.

In addition to the obvious negative effect it has on the mental health and well-being of clinical support staff, burnout also affects patient care. More than 40% of respondents said their burnout had been noticed by a patient, and 33% said their burnout had negatively affected the quality of care they provided.

“If a patient feels rushed, unheard, or disrespected, it can prevent them from fully and openly engaging with the rest of the clinical team,” Aranov said. “We’ve all had experiences with clients that make us want to open up and share fully, and unfortunately we’ve all had experiences that backfire. The same is true at your supplier’s office, but the stakes are higher there than at your local hardware store.”

If a patient gets a short answer from support staff to their first or second question, it can prevent them from asking a third or fourth, Aranov explained. Patients may also feel discouraged from sharing symptoms or important information about medication adherence, she said.

To combat burnout among care staff, Aranow recommended that providers automate routine conversations with patients whenever possible. The report reveals that many providers still rely on telephone communication, which can often be a source of frustration for service staff.

“A routine patient question like ‘where do I park?’ or ‘can I make an appointment?’ can be easily automated through good patient communication technology. But more complex questions about medication adherence will require a conversation between support staff and the patient. By automating routine and repetition, staff are freed up to deal with those conversations that are more nuanced and complex. It’s the equivalent of the oft-used adage of working at the top of the license,” Aranow said.

Photo: ismagilov, Getty Images

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *