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Geneia Survey: From Boomers to Millennials, Physicians Still Burned Out, Share Ideas on Effective Workplace Programs

Even Entry-Level, Hourly Workers Get Bathroom Breaks and a 30-Minute Lunch

Geneia, a healthcare analytic solutions and services company that is simplifying the evolution to value-based care, released the results of a national physician survey commissioned to identify solutions to epidemic levels of physician burnout and dissatisfaction. The survey showed physicians are still burned out, and in part, long to be treated like the valued employees they are.

Strong signs of physician burnout in today’s healthcare environment mirror the findings from Geneia’s initial survey in 2015 and a follow-up survey in 2018, which found that the Physician Misery Index had increased to 3.94 out of 5:

  • Eight in 10 (84 percent) say the quality time doctors are able to spend with patients has decreased in the last 10 years.
  • More than three-quarters (77 percent) know a physician who is likely to stop practicing medicine in the next five years due to burnout.
  • Nearly three-quarters of surveyed physicians (74 percent) say the challenges of practicing medicine in today’s environment have caused them to consider career options outside of clinical practice.
  • An overwhelming majority (83 percent) say they are personally at risk for burnout at some point in their career.

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“Undoubtedly, EHRs remain a lightning rod for physicians, and the health IT industry needs to step up its commitment to improving the usability of technology,” said Heather Lavoie, Geneia president. “At the same time, the Geneia survey revealed that much of physician dissatisfaction is due to remediable, workforce issues like work-life balance, healthy and accessible food options, and time to take breaks and vacations. In other words, physicians are seeking adequate time to provide quality care to their patients.”

Ninety-seven percent of physicians agree with the following statements:

Physician burnout and dissatisfaction are deeply connected to the data collection and other non-clinical demands that are placed on physicians. To address burnout employers of physicians need to put much greater emphasis on increasing the current allocation of time per patient that physicians spend with patients.”

“Curbing physician burnout is an absolutely critical and necessary component for employers to address. If employers of physicians do not do something quickly to sustain and keep physicians satisfied, we won’t have the quality workforce we need.”

When asked about prioritizing workplace programs to address physician burnout and stress, nearly all physicians (97 percent rate as important) said it is important to focus on work-life balance programs followed by a focus on reducing physician hours (82 percent important), availability of mental and physical wellness resources (76 percent), building team unity (70 percent) and professional and leadership development (66 percent.)

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The survey results also demonstrated the need to address physicians’ personal wellness. When asked to rate the value of different ways to offer personal wellness opportunities in the workplace, healthy and accessible food options (82 percent value; 44 percent strongly value), comfort-designed lounge areas (70 percent value; 33 percent strongly value) and yoga and fitness classes (63 percent value; 30 percent strongly value) were ranked high by surveyed physicians.

Geneia commissioned a nationwide survey among physicians who are practicing medicine and are employed by corporate- or hospital-owned entities. Interviewing of 401 physicians was conducted online in August 2019. The results have a margin of error of +/-4.9 percentage points at the 95 percent level of confidence.

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