According to Medscapes 2018 National Physician Burnout and Depression report, “a shocking 42% of physicians say they are burned out and another 12% say they are depressed.” Today’s doctors are feeling an extreme amount of pressure and a story published by National Public Radio revealed that “doctors are committing suicide at a rate twice that of the general public.” Burnout is obviously scary for our physicians, and it is harmful for patients as well. The diminished enthusiasm for their work can lead to poor performance, potentially leading to errors and misdiagnosis and ultimately, damaged relationships between doctors and patients. While there are many causes contributing to this burnout, one thing that’s helping is telemedicine. Here are four ways that telemedicine is helping to battle physician burnout.
Most doctors’ schedules are overwhelming and unmanageable. In the Medscape survey, 35% of physicians said burnout could be decreased through “more manageable work schedules.” The convenience and ease of telemedicine visits can lead to fewer missed appointments and can allow providers to work more effectively. By handling some routine health issues remotely, they can better manage their work schedule and call hours.
Another big issue for physicians today is the lack of flexibility. One way to provide that flexibility is through telemedicine. Some doctors are now designating specific days of the week as “telemedicine days” where they can see patients from the comfort of their homes. As a result, they’re gaining back precious hours and eliminating stressful commuting.
More consistent care.
Telemedicine can also help provide doctors with a feeling of control and independence. A growing number of providers are splitting their schedules about half and half between telehealth and in-office visits. Many are finding they can more easily detect a patient’s condition when they observe remotely, in a relaxed, uninterrupted setting.
Patients also appreciate it more when they don’t have to commute, worry about finding child care, or have to sit in a waiting room surrounded by other sick patients. They are often more relaxed and content, which is mirrored by the doctor. Doctors are happy when their patients are happy.
Many physicians feel rushed because they have to constantly move from office to office. There is a lot going on in the background that increases overwhelming feelings, intensifying the need to rush through appointments. Telehealth helps simplify a physician’s workday, giving them more time for patient interaction.
Increased access to care for patients.
Along with everything else, profit is always in the mind of a physician. So much emphasis is placed on the bottom line and fortunately telemedicine can help. Because few providers practice in rural areas, many people in these areas must travel long distances to see a doctor. If they don’t have transportation or money for fuel and child care, they just won’t go. Telemedicine can allow providers to diagnose and treat these patients for many issues, increasing their access to care. Not only does this boost the bottom line, but it gives doctors the satisfaction of being able treat patients who would not normally be seen.
Telemedicine is healing patients and doctors alike and because of this, telemedicine is set to have a hugely positive impact on our healthcare system. Are you ready for accessible and modern healthcare, and for physicians who are refreshed and enthusiastic about their treating? Visit The Simple Clinic and complete our contact form to request a consult today!