There are a lot of expectations from you as a leader or decision-maker of a practice. For starters, people who share the same job as you are responsible for ensuring that everything is efficient, on top of taking care of your staff. Indeed, being a leader can run you the risk of burnout if you don’t do it right.
An MGMA stat poll has revealed that this year, a staggering 80% of healthcare leaders felt an increase in stress and burnout levels, 14% didn’t feel any significant change, and only 6% had decreased levels. Given that medical practices have a critical role, these numbers are alarming because when you’re experiencing burnout, a lot is hanging in the balance. Based on an article from the Society of Endocrinology, the effects of burnout can also bleed into your professional life;
Decreased capacity to cope with stress
Difficulty in motivating patients who need constant engagement
A decline in working ability
As a leader, your physical and mental health are catalysts to the growth of your practice. If you can do well, there will be positive effects such as a boost in productivity, patient count, and profit. However, your practice will only progress a little when there is a compromise in your ability to lead.
To help practice leaders, an MGMA podcast episode featured Dr. Jeff Comer sharing insights from his experience as a doctor and hospital CEO for more than 20 years. When regard to how to tackle practice leader burnout, he went over the following tips;
Take Control of What’s Stressing You Out
When faced with an overwhelming stressor, you often have two options – fight or flight. Some professionals do the latter in an attempt to distance themselves and avoid having to face the challenge. However, Dr. Comer believes that suppression never works. All “flight” does is delay the resolution and worsen the problem.
Whatever challenge you’re facing, whether it’s the conflicting stakeholder opinions or the stressful demand of your practice, you have to take control of it and not let it get the best of you. Remember, tackling your problem is the one effective way of solving it.
Break the Problem Down
When your stressors pile up, you can see it as one massive hurdle best conquered in one swift motion. However, these problems rarely have a singular fix because multiple factors cause them.
To avoid practice challenges from overwhelming you, break them down into smaller manageable chunks. Doing so will allow you to take it one step at a time and identify the best solutions for each problem. Even more, a “slowly but surely” approach to resolving multiple challenges is better than an impossible quick fix.
Learn to Change Your Perspective
When you are stressed and are shouldering a heap of challenges, your ability to think critically can get impaired, and you tend to get overwhelmed by almost everything – even the slightest challenge can get magnified. When you approach your problems this way, you’ll have difficulty getting past them because they will be slow and ineffective.
Aside from working smarter instead of harder, the best approach is to look at your problems differently. To be more specific, you should look at them for what they are, not the negative feeling you get from them, because when the mind weighs more than the matter, you’ll be more able to appease your stressors without putting your emotional well-being in distress.
Ultimately, breaking through burnout so you can be a more effective leader means taking charge of what you can control. You have your emotions, mind, and behavior; between the three, your behavior is the one you have the most control over. Even when stressful thoughts are causing so much burden, put on a smile or do something good because your brain will follow suit.
Positive energy can find its way into the people around you, resulting in a more productive work environment. From a neurological standpoint, making your body do something positive despite your circumstances increases your oxytocin and changes your neurotransmitters.
What Else Can You Do?
The US Department of Health and Human Services named “administrative burdens” as one of the causes of burnout among healthcare professionals. An example of an administrative burden includes worrying about your practice’s finances.
Your practice’s finances are essential because it helps keep everything standing, from medical equipment to the workforce. However, most practices struggle to keep their expenses to a minimum because recruiting the needed staff can be costly, but it doesn’t need to be!
Our virtual assistants at My Mountain Mover initially undergo a rigorous screening process that includes multiple screenings and interviews. Furthermore, they also receive comprehensive training before being deployed so they can efficiently fill the administrative gaps in your practice. We get thousands of applications from aspiring VAs, but we only endorse the top 2% to our clients to ensure they get the best of the best!