Professional burnout has been defined as a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. According to a recent study, the 2018 Medscape National Physician Burnout and Depression Report, radiology is now the 7th highest specialty for burnout among physicians, up from 20th in 2017 compared to other specialties.
What can be done to help dedicated healthcare workers fight these rising statistics?
Individuals can be proactive about managing their burnout, though exercise, spending time with friends and family, mindfulness and staying in the present. In addition, these four steps have been shown to help combat burnout:
- Remember why you work in healthcare: it’s meaningful, important work that saves lives. Radiologists working long hours over years in the field sometimes get bogged down with the work and stress and lose track of the fact that the images they’re reading and the work they’re responsible for represents human beings and their families.
- Stay positive: optimism can impact your outlook and success, and it’s an attitude that can be learned. Technical fields like radiology attract personalities that are meticulous and often perfectionist. But a focus on what you see as your inadequacies or mistakes adds stress, while appreciating short- and long-term accomplishments can reduce it.
- Focus on teamwork and relationships: share a meal or break with a colleague, schedule some fun, enjoy the multidisciplinary team of people that makes your work so impactful. In addition, consider work environment changes, like altering the reading room set up so radiologists can work in groups, to help strengthen team relationships and accommodate different professional interests. For example, within a group, it may be possible to assign radiologists the types of images they prefer to read, helping them stay more engaged with the work.
- Work smart: setting yourself up to minimize unnecessary administrative tasks can help thwart burnout. In fact, high on the list of factors increasing radiologist burnout from the 2018 Medscape report are bureaucratic tasks and feeling like a cog in the wheel. Eliminating some of these from your day while increasing independence and control are two sides of a coin that can reduce burnout and improve both morale and productivity.
When it comes to working smarter, the HealthMyne platform and RPM functionality automates many manual processes for radiologists that can contribute to burnout, allowing them to focus their time and attention on areas that require their level of expertise.
The platform automates repetitive functions such as the retrieval and registration of current and relevant prior studies. By propagating previously identified lesions to today’s images with delineations and long and short measurements, HealthMyne’s Rapid Precise Metrics (RPM) allows radiologists to efficiently identify, measure, and track lesions across studies, avoiding the inter/intra reader variability of traditional picture archiving and communication system (PACS) tools and producing a higher quality outcome.
Want to learn more about how the HealthMyne platform can help combat radiologist burnout? Request a demo here.