Running on Empty
This discussion involved diverse panelists who shared their experiences and perspectives on the extremely topical issue of burnout in the healthcare sector. They highlighted that burnout was not a new issue; however, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the existing problem.
Key factors contributing to burnout included the enormous responsibility and demanding nature of healthcare professions, a lack of support resources, and reduced camaraderie among healthcare providers. Additionally, the constant worry about the well-being of their workforce was a major concern for the executive leaders.
One of the striking points was that the most productive, high-functioning individuals were most prone to burnout, and it significantly affected their mental and physical health, as well as their job performance. This ultimately imposed substantial costs on the organization and society.
The conversation highlighted the importance of developing a feedback-rich and supportive culture in healthcare organizations. It was suggested that providing appropriate resources, engagement strategies, and automation could help prevent burnout.
In addition, they discussed the need for daily operational routines to combat burnout, similar to guidelines for physical health and cleanliness. Executive leaders also expressed the importance of getting close to the workforce, understanding their issues, and building relationships.
In conclusion, the panelists agreed that burnout is a multifactorial issue, and every stakeholder connected to the healthcare sector must own their role in addressing it.