practice management

How to Reduce Burnout for Pediatric Practice Employees

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, pediatric practice physicians and office managers are facing unprecedented challenges, including labor shortages, competition from hospitals, and managing staff who are just as stressed as they are. While burnout is a complex issue that requires individual solutions and support, practices can benefit from providing structure and communication so that employees feel supported, which could improve staff turnover, patient outcomes, and workplace stress.

According to a recent study published in JAMA Health Forum in July 2023, it was found that addressing physician well-being is crucial. Unsurprisingly, 51% of physicians mentioned that reducing the emphasis on quality metrics could significantly improve their well-being. Additionally, 52% highlighted the importance of having control over their scheduling, while 56% suggested reducing the emphasis on productivity targets. Other key suggestions included having protected break times, fewer unscheduled hours, and a compatible electronic health record system.

Significantly, the study results were collected from hospitalists. Independent pediatricians, on the other hand, can control many of the aspects mentioned as stressful by the employed physicians, such as schedules, metrics, and choice of EHR. For employers looking to reduce staff burnout and stress, physician-owners and office managers can still take lessons from the hospitalists.

Addressing Employee Burnout At Your Practice

Practical strategies are key for pediatric practice managers looking to support their employees effectively,, since office managers and physician-owners have plenty of control over the aspects of work that can cause staff stress. Here are a few:

  • Scheduling. As pediatrician-owner of One Family Pediatrics, Dr. Hiral Lavania, MD FAAP stated in a previous post, that flexibility in scheduling is a key benefit hospitals can’t often provide their staff. Allow staff the room to accommodate family needs or health concerns to reduce stress and provide structure.
  • Metrics. Quality metrics are important for practice growth — just take a look at PCC’s Dashboard! However, employee metrics can be a source of stress. Communication and feedback are important to balance performance goals and human productivity.
  • Teamwork and purpose. Ensure everyone has a voice at the table and everyone’s problems are heard. Teamwork improves when managers are clear on values and goals, which for pediatric practices end in the same thing: great healthcare for kids and families.
  • Strength-based development. Helping staff grow and improve can be constructive when managers focus on their strengths. Gallup analytics consistently finds this a good strategy, especially when managers identify, praise, and guide employees to tasks that meet their strengths.

The Benefits of PCC EHR for Independent Pediatricians

If you’re seeking a compatible EHR for your pediatric practice, you’ll want to consider Physician’s Computer Company (PCC). PCC EHR stands out as the #1 solution for independent pediatricians according to KLAS Research, offering various resources that cater to pediatric needs. With a Dashboard that allows practices to measure clinical and financial results compared to other pediatric practices, reports and workflows designed just for pediatrics, and award-winning support, PCC addresses the well-being concerns raised by physicians and enhances overall workflow efficiency. Independent physicians can leverage PCC to streamline their processes and provide more personalized care as compared to hospital-based practitioners, reducing documentation time and unnecessary clicks.

For great teams and better patient outcomes, pediatric practice physicians and office managers need to prioritize the well-being of their employees. A workplace where staff feel heard and appreciated is one they won’t want to leave any time soon. If you’d like to learn more about stress in independent pediatric practice and how two Texas pediatricians face it, check out our article from The Independent Pediatrician.

Allie Squires

Allie Squires is PCC's Marketing Content Writer and editor of The Independent Pediatrician. She holds a master's in Professional Writing from NYU.