Burnout in Healthcare, Recognizing and Treating the Epidemic

Duration: 90 Minutes
Instructor: Dr. Jerry Williamson
Webinar Id: 800058


One Attendee


The term "Burnout" was first used in the medical literature by the psychiatrist HJ Freudenberger in the 1970's. Burnout has been extensively studied and it occurs in a very large number of healthcare professionals. Professional burnout is a work related syndrome with serious consequences for healthcare professionals.

According to researcher Christine Maslach, it is characterized by three adverse characteristics including emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a lack of accomplishment. Individuals experiencing this syndrome lose interest in their work and treat others as though they were objects. There are several factors that contribute to this phenomenon including perfectionism, work-life imbalances, ignoring personal needs, and a continuing exposure to high stress environments. Burnout can have a serious negative impact on the physician-patient relationship impacting the quality of care being provided and patient outcomes.

Healthcare professionals are facing a very difficult time in the U.S. and the stress associated with this profession will likely increase. Some professionals experiencing burnout will resort to chemical abuse and even suicide. Early recognition and the implementation of coping strategies are critical to prevent the serious consequences of this syndrome.

Why should you attend:
The healthcare environment has become increasingly complex creating an environment for healthcare providers that seriously limit their autonomy in clinical decision making. Non-physician administrators often dictate clinical policy to healthcare providers negatively impacting their capacity to practice medicine. Additionally, healthcare providers are experiencing many difficult challenges that include an increasing number of regulations, decreasing reimbursements, increasing productivity requirements, spending less time with their patients, and the increasing requirements for continuing medical education.

This environment creates a challenge for providers to balance their personal and professional lives in the face of the excessive work hours that include evening and weekend after hours call. As a result of this prolonged stress and frustration the individual may develop both physical and emotional exhaustion, the integral components of burnout.       

Burnout in healthcare professionals can have serious effects on career success, and is of increasing concern. The best approach to prevent and/or treat the symptoms of burnout is by focusing on the causes of the stress, and educating the individual about the necessary coping strategies.  Additionally, the organization that employs healthcare providers has an important role in resolving any barriers to achieve work – life balance for their employees.

Areas Covered in the Session

  • Define stress and burnout.
  • Describe the risk factors for burnout
  • How to recognize the signs and symptoms of burnout.
  • Describe the consequences of burnout on the healthcare professional and its effect on patient outcomes.
  • Describe strategies to prevent and treat burnout.
Who Will Benefit:
  • CEO
  • CMO
  • COO
  • Physicians
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Physician Assistants
  • Medical Directors
  • Dentists
  • Nurse Executives
  • Nurses
  • Social Workers
  • Mental Health Workers

Speaker Profile
Dr. Williamson is a Board Certified physician with a Masters in Health Jurisprudence from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. He is a Licensed Healthcare Risk Manager, and is also certified in Healthcare Compliance by the Healthcare Compliance Association. He has over 30 years experience in private practice and healthcare management. During his career, he served as Medical Director for a Third Party Administrator, Vice President of Medical Affairs for a 280 bed hospital, Assistant Medical Director for a Staff Model HMO and as a private practice physician.

He is a frequent lecturer and consultant on such topics as HIPAA, Healthcare Compliance, Medical Coding, Clinical Documentation Improvement, Prevention of Medical Errors, Physician Burnout, Health Information Technology, and Practice Management topics for professional organizations. He is a certified AHIMA trainer for ICD-10. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, and Clinical Clerkship Training Coordinator at The Florida State University College of Medicine. At the College he also serves as an affiliate of The Center for Innovative Collaboration in Medicine and Law.

Dr. Williamson is also a Supreme Court Certified Dependency Mediator, and formally trained arbitrator and listed neutral with the American Arbitration Association, and American Health Lawyers. He presently serves as a "Meaningful Use Clinician Champion" to The Center for the Advancement of Health Information Technology, a Regional Extension Center in Florida.

For the past 15 years he has been in a senior leadership role with Collier Health Services, a Federally Qualified Health Center in South Florida, where he currently serves as the Chief Medical Officer and Director of the Biomedical Informatics Program. He is the 2012 recipient of the "Heroes in Healthcare" award from the Naples Daily News Excellence in Healthcare., for Administrative.

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