Doctors struggle to maintain balance amid organizational change, Athenahealth study finds
Physician Sentiment Index shows impact of organizational changes and consolidation on physicians during COVID-19 pandemic
WATERTOWN, Mass., July 6, 2021– (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – athenahealth, Inc., a leading provider of software and network services for medical groups and healthcare systems nationwide, today announced the results of its second report on the index sentiment opinion 2021. The survey was conducted between October 13, 2020 and December 23, 2020 among a large sample of physicians using a variety of EHR providers – and was conducted to understand what physicians think about The resources and support they receive to do their jobs in an effort to better identify and exploit the opportunities to strengthen essential healthcare workers in the United States. Physicians answered questions related to organizational issues, technological challenges, physician well-being, delivery of quality patient care, etc.
Are organizational changes creating setbacks?
A survey finding shows that, since the end of 2018, more than 50% of respondents have experienced major organizational changes, including layoffs and holidays, mergers and / or acquisitions or the implementation of new technologies. Healthcare continues to consolidate at a rapid pace, as mergers and acquisitions multiply. Under normal circumstances, these organizational changes can have adverse consequences as they disrupt work flows, job responsibilities, professional relationships, etc.
Among the main organizational changes we studied, going through a merger or acquisition made respondents less likely to say they intended to stay with their organization (58% vs. 74% who did not affected) or to recommend it to friends or family for care (68% vs. 85%), due to the uncertainty surrounding future roles and workplace culture. They said they felt less often inspired (63% vs. 78%) and less secure and supported (47% vs. 72%) by their organization.
These interviewees seemed to suffer particularly in their personal relationships with their colleagues. Physicians who have undergone some type of merger and acquisition do not have such a positive opinion of their collaboration with physician colleagues (52% vs. 63% who were not affected), the quality of non-physician colleagues ( 48% vs. 62%) – licensed care (41% vs. 59%) and the quality of their immediate superiors (45% vs. 69%).
Opportunities to improve physician morale
What can practices do to improve clinicians’ experiences at work and reduce burnout? Survey data suggests that when organizations adopt a team-based primary care model – where physicians and allied health professionals take collective responsibility for a patient population – physicians were much more likely to report positive opinions of their colleagues, reported more collaboration with other physicians and rated their organization’s leadership more positively in general.
To improve morale, data has shown that organizations can also support physicians by fostering a culture in which they feel safe, supported, able to share their opinions freely, and to be heard.
The health sector is not immune to pandemics
While the healthcare industry has historically been able to weather economic recessions, it is not pandemic proof. Medical groups and hospitals have focused on tackling COVID-19 as elective procedures and routine exams have plummeted, forcing health organizations to cut costs and payrolls. According to data from the athenahealth survey, during the pandemic, 28% of physicians experienced temporary leave and 14% layoffs in their organization. These doctors reported feeling more exhausted (50% vs. 44% who were unaffected) and experienced feelings of insensitivity (31% vs. 23%) and isolation (37% vs. 30%) at least a few times a year. month.
23% of physicians said they had gone through a major technology transition in the past 24 months, such as implementing a new EHR system.
These doctors were, as you might expect, much more frustrated with their EHR than others – and less likely to believe they had received sufficient training. More generally, they were less likely to believe that technology is helping them provide high quality care. It is likely that some of this sentiment can be mitigated through deliberate and proactive training and support regarding technological change.
“The Physician Sentiment Index survey reflects the fiscal impact of industry consolidation, technological changes and layoffs / leaves during the pandemic,” said Jessica Sweeney-Platt, vice president of research and strategy editorial at athenahealth. “This makes it even more remarkable that, overall, physicians continue to be committed to providing high quality patient care. Key to this result is a strong support system, proactive technology training, and the ability to collaborate effectively with colleagues. “
To learn more about these results, please visit: http://athenahealth.com/knowledge-hub/clinical-trends/physicians-report-organizational-technology-changes-among-biggest-burnout-factors.
The survey results are based on 799 responding physicians (both Athenahealth EHR users and non-Athenahealth EHR users) who responded to the survey between October and December 2020. 54% of survey respondents described themselves as men, 41% of women, 1% of others (age, genderqueer, gender questioning or transgender) and 4% did not report gender. Most respondents (64%) were from independent practices followed by practices affiliated with a hospital (22%). A smaller proportion of respondents was represented by FQHCs and new models of care delivery that included direct primary care clinics, emergency care centers / retail clinics, and concierge clinics.
About athenahealth, Inc.
athenahealth partners with medical organizations across the country to drive clinical and financial results. Our vision is to create a thriving ecosystem that delivers accessible, high-quality and sustainable healthcare for all, and we pursue this goal through our medical record, revenue cycle, patient engagement and service offerings. coordination of care. Our teams of experts build modern technology on an open and connected ecosystem, producing information that makes a difference for our customers and their patients. For more information, please visit www.athenahealth.com.
View the source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210706005043/en/