Healthcare News & Insights

Provider frustrations: Addressing unhappiness at your facility

Keeping your providers happy is a top priority, especially as rates of physician burnout continue to rise. When doctors aren’t pleased with their work or organization, that displeasure bleeds out to other clinical staff and patients, creating a culture of negativity at your facility that could impact patient care. 

There are many reasons physicians may not be fully satisfied with their jobs, from heavy administrative workloads to high stress levels.

Physicians’ Practice recently released the results of its 2018 Great American Physician Survey, and it doesn’t paint the happiest picture.

Major frustrations

The biggest complaint among providers surveyed? Constant “busy work,” such as electronic health record data entry and prior authorizations, which 32% of docs said was their single biggest frustration.

Other frustrations include:

  • too much third-party interference
  • declining ability to practice independently
  • too much stress
  • low compensation
  • government regulations
  • long hours
  • lack of personal fulfillment, and
  • lack of professional fulfillment.

Some of these frustrations are the result of the way the U.S. healthcare system is structured, and there’s not much any one hospital can do to alleviate them.

But others are within your power to fix. When it comes to stress, long hours, and personal and professional fulfillment, your hospital can take significant steps to improve physicians’ morale.

Lift burdens

For stressed-out providers and other clinical staff, you’ll want to think of mood boosters. Even small measures can go a long way when workers are stressed and feel overworked.

Consider hosting employee appreciation celebrations if you don’t already, complete with free lunches or snacks. You can also host holiday parties and other regular social events for staff.

You’ll also want to have regular conversations with providers about what they’re getting out of their jobs and what they’d like to improve. If you can offer more flexible hours or the chance to serve on a work-related committee, that could give them incentive to keep going when work gets difficult.

Encourage feedback from all clinical staff by implementing a suggestion box onsite and emphasizing a culture of openness, so providers feel comfortable sharing their opinions.

Providers have a lot of power within your organization, but they don’t always feel valued, which can cause them to feel frustrated and burned out.

Offering outlets for the stress of working in a hospital, as well as opportunities for providers to receive professional development and guidance, are some of the best strategies to make sure everyone is excited to come to work and can offer the best patient care possible.

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