- Employee burnout has increased in almost every industry
- Healthcare burnout has several drivers, including the COVID-19 pandemic
- There are key strategies leaders can deploy to combat burnout
Meriam Webster may have named “vaccine” the word of the year, but we’d argue “burnout” is a close second. In every industry, employee burnout has increased. In fact, Indeed conducted a study of 1,500 US-based workers and found that, regardless of age demographic, burnout increased across the board. Over 52% of survey respondents claim to be experiencing burnout in 2021, with 80% placing blame on the COVID-19 pandemic.
If we drill down into healthcare, the scene is much the same.
Healthcare employee burnout: A look back at 2021
We’ve discussed employee burnout within the healthcare industry at length this year – from drivers to key solutions. Here’s what we know:
- The pandemic played a key part in exacerbating employee burnout in healthcare
The stories of healthcare employee burnout have made headlines, and the pandemic played a large part. Approximately 1 in 5 healthcare workers have quit their jobs during the pandemic, claiming burnout as a primary driver. Additionally, prior to the pandemic, nursing burnout rates were already at a high 40%. Now, according to the International Council of Nurses, the rate has increased to 70%.
- Reducing burnout will play a key part in healthcare operational and financial performance
Reducing clinician burnout is a hidden expense that drags down profitability. In fact, a Harvard Business School report estimates the cost is more than $4.6B across the healthcare industry. Reducing employee burnout and promoting wellbeing will decrease turnover and improve retention, assisting with overall profitability.
- Technology plays a part in being the problem and the solution
More and more hospitals and health systems are turning to technology to automate processes and streamline care delivery – and that is largely positive. However, technology can play a part in exacerbating employee burnout depending upon the user experience.
For example, according to Peter Canning, Medical Director of Informatics at Asante Health Systems, “Many providers are spending twice as much time in front of a computer as they are face-to-face with patients. As a provider, we are trained to take care of patients, so it’s a huge source of frustration and frankly burnout.”
Strategies to reduce healthcare burnout
Drivers of employee burnout out are complex, particularly depending upon the industry. Within healthcare, we have a few strategies to help you reduce burnout in the new year: