Burnout consistently emerges as a top issue with physician leaders across the country. It's well established that physician burnout is detrimental to patient care and your organization's bottom line: research indicates that physician burnout is linked with a 16% decrease in patient satisfaction, an 11% increase in reported medical errors, and increased turnover and early retirement.
The first step to combating burnout is to be able to measure it and understand which providers are most at risk. The Advisory Board Survey Solutions team developed a four-question burnout index as an instructive measure of burnout among providers. The index assesses the three main symptoms of burnout: emotional exhaustion, personal detachment, and a decreased sense of accomplishment. The fourth question asks respondents to rate perception of their own burnout. All questions are asked on a six-point Likert scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree:
- I feel emotionally exhausted by my work.
- I feel overwhelmed by my workload.
- I feel detached from my patients.
- I feel burned out.
Using similar methodology to how we measure engagement, an average of the four burnout index questions is calculated and respondents are placed into one of three categories: low risk, medium risk, or high risk.
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Combating Physician Burnout