Physician Burnout Costing Hospitals Money

I always find these articles interesting.  This one from Reuters explains how gardening, Yoga and personal coaches really haven’t done anything to stop the rising rate of physician burnout.

No sh$t! Want more?

Some leading healthcare executives now say the way medicine is practiced in the United States is to blame, fueled in part by growing clerical demands that have doctors spending two hours on the computer for every one hour they spend seeing patients.

How are these people called “leading executives” if they are just figuring this out now?  Sounds like they are idiots to me because they have been told for years what was happening.  And the only reason these executives, and the hospitals they consult to, care is because they just realized it is costing them money.

Experts estimate, for example, that it can cost more than a $1 million to recruit and train a replacement for a doctor who leaves because of burnout.

I just love the things they are trying in order to fix this crap. I will list a few from the article:

  • Hiring more mid-level providers
  • Hiring more pharmacists
  • Hiring more staff to deal with email and “clicks”

I would go on to highlight more of the article but I got nauseated seeing Dr. Christine Sinsky being highlighted again. Feel free to read her crap if you want but it’s useless.

The truth is that the system cannot be fixed from the inside!  We physicians need to walk!  For primary care there is DPC. For others….who knows?  Find your own way.  Maybe it is cash only like Dr. Keith Smith and his Surgical Center of Oklahoma.  Maybe it is a form of direct care.  It doesn’t matter. These idiots mentioned above caused this problem and you should not expect them to fix it.  Only we can do that.

(Click here to sign up for your free bonus weekly newsletter.  No spam. Ever

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  8 comments for “Physician Burnout Costing Hospitals Money

  1. Peter Ilyich
    December 8, 2017 at 10:07 am

    What the hell is anybody doing about it?
    Do those whom we help give a damn?
    How about “out of the beaurocratic towers” and onto the REAL playing field!!!???

  2. kent r corral,md
    December 8, 2017 at 8:28 am

    less paper work. I saw a patient last week for recurrent acute diverticulitis. I hand wrote a very legible note to take with her to the surgeon . it took 18 seconds and says everything pertinent. We copied her med sheet and her problem list and attached it. Clerical work time <30 seconds.
    A: 1. Acute Recurrent Diverticulitis: -S/S of peritonitis,-S/S sepsis,- S/S obstruction, Clears,Abx,CT attached,fever curve, ER parameters discussed,surgery consult

  3. PaolaZ
    December 6, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    Clinicians don’t experience burn out when they do something useful for their patients and something that only them can do. When they are in this condition they can feel tired, but never burn out. Doctors must threat diseases for which medicine makes the difference and doctor’s skill makes the difference. Also patients consider that as the job of doctors, but health organisations want doctors to do other more social thinks. When terminally ill patients see a doctor they automatically think that if there is a doctor there is a cure and, if there isn’t, they infuse to the doctor feelings of guilt . For doctors less computers, no clerical work, no terminally ill patients, no distribution of antihypertensive pills and other trivial type of practice. All these thinks must be made by other kind of staff. To do a worthwhile work expert doctors are needed, therefore fewer doctors and a narrower spectrum of activity. Clinical activity of doctors must be a narrow niche in the large field of medicine. From Italy where 90% of doctors are burn out but nobody care.

  4. mark O'Brien
    December 6, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    The solution is to hire more people. How is that going to save money? It increases ” bureaucratic drag” .Therein lies the problem. Haven’t heard any executives consider that. Hire more people I can boss around.

  5. Steve O'
    December 6, 2017 at 10:55 am

    Also, campesino medicine Is making great strides with burnout -especially end-stage burnout (suicide) which can result in a tragic loss of money by litigation. Amazon boosts the camper-employee for marginal, mobile help at minimum wage, no benefits. Hey, if it works for box-stuffers, why not a fleet of camper-locums? When they burn out, nobody notices!

  6. RSW
    December 6, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Similar argument was made prior to the Emancipation Proclamation – don’t be too abusive to your slaves as they’re expensive to replace.

  7. Steve O'
    December 6, 2017 at 10:23 am

    Nobody really cares, because…nobody really cares. It’s all for show. It’s like the “support our troops!” or “raise nursing morale!” when the only rule is don’t spend time, money or attention. They want a gloss over the problem.
    If loss of physician productivity mattered, it would have been seriously addressed. Same as the pitiful American educational system, which has been rotting down for 60 years, because it doesn’t REALLY matter, although it’s not PC to say so. I expect to see independent practice EMT’s in retail pharmacy ‘clinics.’ That’s good enough medicine to make a buck. Get rid of the big-cost lincensees! That’s good enough.

  8. Martha oreilly
    December 6, 2017 at 9:55 am

    All the turncoats at the ABIM are nest feathering sellouts that have built in moutpiece venues to spew their blather.

Comments are closed.