We have all read articles or attended conferences where the topic is physician burnout. But what about Medical Practice Manager burnout? What happens to the medical practice when its administrative leader is not as effective as he or she once was and is ready to throw in the towel?
Our staffs depend on practice managers to be on their “A” game all the time. When they aren’t, the practice suffers. Here are some tips to prevent (or at least slow down) burnout.
Burnout is characterized by a loss of enthusiasm for work, feelings of cynicism and low sense of personal accomplishment. We are well aware that professional burnout is a common adversary as a medical practice manager, administrator, CEO or executive director. Long hours, mounting pressure to accommodate patients and staff, conflict between career and family, increased government policy, reprioritizing of workload, and non-patient-centered duties all contribute.
The medical practice is an incredibly rewarding career decision and is viewed as a labor of love by administration, physicians and staff. When fatigue sets in due to tremendous physical and emotional demands, the practice can begin to feel more and more laborious.
To prevent or recover from burnout, integrate our five recommended steps below. It is critical to take time for self-reflection and identify what’s important so practice managers can live in a way that reflects it.
1. Delegate Duties
- Delegate the appropriate duties to the staff members responsible for those tasks. Your staff should be able to work autonomously but also respond well and quickly when assigned a responsibility.
2. Depend on Medical Management
- Streamline and overcome operational challenges so your practice can focus on the patient/practitioner relationship. Concordis offers medical billing and medical practice management consulting to assist your practice. This outsourcing can greatly decrease stress levels in association with the day-to-day difficulties of running a practice.
3. Relax and Rejuvenate
- Spend a few minutes each morning meditating, stretching or reading. During your downtime, also be sure to nurture your inventive inclinations with a hobby that encourages creative thinking. The change of pace is unquestionably refreshing.
4. Healthy Living
- Incorporate healthy sleeping, exercise and eating habits into your everyday routine. Improving these facets of life with help to increase energy and decrease irritability. Promote healthy living at your office as well.
- Learn when to say “no” when it comes to overextending yourself. Late nights, early mornings and less time with family and friends will increase physical, spiritual and emotional exhaustion. Work/life balance is important to maintain stamina of the daily operations in medical practice management.
5. Rediscover the Joy of Practice Management
- Reconnect with why you got into medical practice management to begin with. Hold on to moments when you are connecting with your staff and patients — tell your spouse about these moments and celebrate them. Try to achieve that feeling at least once a day.
Since the original article was written, medical practices have undergone some major changes in processing claims and quality payment programs. We were fully immersed in the implementation of ICD-10 and changes subsequent to the initial guidance. We have also changed from Meaningful Use (MU) and Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) reporting requirements to the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Alternative Payment Models (APM) reporting requirements, now in its second performance year for payment adjustments in 2020.
This doesn’t include the amount of time the practice manager encounters with personnel issues, to include recruiting, hiring and retention, as well as often playing the role of referee when employees do not get along. Many medical practice managers spend approximately 26 percent of their time coaching and counseling problem employees — not to mention keeping the clinic operating in an efficient manner to ensure quality patient care, overseeing revenue cycle management, and ensuring federal, state and clinic policies and procedures are being followed. In a smaller medical practice, the practice manager is a “jack of all trades”.
When you feel overwhelmed, Concordis Practice Management is here to help you and be part of your team. Whether you need coaching and training, or help to analyze the operations process, we can assist.
Contact Concordis at 210-704-1014, or visit concordispm.com for more information.