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  • Writer's picturePaul DeChant MD, MBA

Targeting Change In a Crisis

Knowing What's Wrong and How To Fix It

COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on clinicians and health systems, with levels of burnout rising rapidly and threatening the viability of the healthcare workforce.

If that thought doesn't scare you it should, at a time when the pandemic is rolling across the country like a crowd doing "the wave" at a college football game. (Unfortunately we won't likely be seeing many of those for at least a year.)

The overwhelming impact on New York City and much of the Northeast is waning while the South (east and west) are getting hammered and flares are starting to appear around the Midwest. At the time of this writing, 42 states are heading in the wrong direction. It's not time to let our guard down.

We know that a comprehensive approach to professional fulfillment - focused on personal resilience, practice efficiency, and a culture of wellness - is ideal to reduce burnout. Yet most organizations don't have the financial or human capital capacity to take on the comprehensive challenge on their own. People and coffers are depleted.

What Can You Do to Get Started?

Start simply and effectively when addressing burnout. It's important to know what needs to be done in order to not waste precious resources. A survey that assesses the levels of burnout AND identifies the drivers in real time, can ensure that you are focusing on the issues that need attention now.

There is great value in two surveys in particular, that are fully validated and can be tailored to an organization's individual needs:

  • The Maslach Burnout Toolkit for Medical Personnel, which combines the Maslach Burnout Inventory which measures the manifestations of burnout with the Areas of Worklife Survey which measures the drivers of burnout, providing an assessment of severity with an understanding of the cause for a unit or an organization.

  • The Pandemic Experiences & Perceptions Survey, developed by Michael Leiter who is a co-developer of the MBI, assesses burnout levels and drivers specific to the impact of the pandemic.

Both of these are easy to administer and provide valuable insights. The reports provide comparisons to national norms and can be segmented to provide unit-specific findings along with organization-wide results, enabling targeted interventions.

Increasing Survey Value When Resources Are Limited

The survey reports have recently been redesigned to be more user-friendly, which helps in understanding key issues. To further enhance the effectiveness, I am offering a targeted service that can:

  • Administer the survey

  • Provide the report with a detailed analysis of the results

  • Coach leadership teams to develop an effective intervention plan

This is a great way to address pandemic-related burnout now, before the pandemic gets worse in your area, or before burnout deepens and you begin to see PTSD develop as the intensity of the pandemic wanes.

There's never been a more challenging time in healthcare in our lifetimes. It's important that we all do what we can to help.

I'm happy to follow up if you'd like to learn more. You can email me or schedule a call to discuss your situation.

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