As healthcare organizations look for ways to reduce physician burnout, some are creating a new C-suite role: Chief Wellness Officer, hoping to achieve not only happier employees but also improved patient experience and outcomes.

Physician burnout is at an all-time high. In a recent Medscape survey, nearly two-thirds of doctors reported feeling burned out, depressed or both. Thirty-three percent of respondents said those feelings impacted their patient interactions. Burnout rates were highest among family physicians, intensivists, internists, neurologists and OB-GYNs, and were higher among women than men.

Physician burnout has been linked to lower productivity and absenteeism, medical errors, poorer outcomes and lack of engagement with patients.

This crisis comes as the nation faces a growing shortage of doctors. The Association of American Medical Colleges projects the physician shortage could reach 105,000 by 2030.

Among factors contributing to burnout are long hours, increasing regulatory and recordkeeping requirements and administrative and computer tasks. An Annals of Family Medicine report in September found that primary care physicians spend more than half their workday on EHR tasks.

As healthcare organizations strive to be more holistic in supporting employees, the Chief Wellness Officer aligns with the shift toward value-based, patient-centric care.

Hospitals are trying to differentiate themselves culturally while they manage cost and risk. To learn more ways to create wellness programs for happier, less stressed, more engaged employees, visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. Contact me today to discuss implementing this powerful program at your facility.