Burnout and the Staffing Crisis – How Do They Impact the Healthcare Workforce and What are Some Possible Solutions? | Healthcare IT Today (2023)

During the pandemic, so much was asked of our healthcare workers that they began to get burnt-out and started to quit. With people leaving, the remaining staff began to be stretched to make up for this loss. Stretched out led to stretched thin, meaning that more healthcare workers got burnt-out and quit as well. Leaving us stuck in a vicious cycle of not enough workers and burning out quickly as a result. So how do we get out of this cycle?

We reached out to our Healthcare IT Today community to hear their thoughts on physician burnout and the healthcare staffing crisis and see what solutions they had. Take a look and see if these ideas could be beneficial to you and your staff.

Kimberly Hartsfield, EVP Growth Enablement at VisiQuate

Staffing experts indicate that health care staffing levels are unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels for at least five years. One recent report indicates that 92% of revenue cycle teams are understaffed and that 1/3 are understaffed by more than twenty positions. Those metrics leave leadership no alternative but to look to technology to augment the lack of staff.

Many leaders are embracing automation and bots to take on repetitive tasks like claims status, prior authorization and notice of admission, allowing their seasoned employees to handle complex accounts that bring value to the bottom line.

Bryan Dickerson, Vice President, Healthcare Workforce Solutions at Hospital IQ

Predictive analytics enable easier and smarter staffing decisions that improve operational efficiency and workforce satisfaction. Many health systems still rely on outdated technology and inaccurate data insights that lead to reactive, last-minute, crisis-minded staffing measures that impact care delivery and contribute to burnout.

(Video) How to solve the staffing crisis in healthcare

Predictive staffing solutions and census forecasting alleviate a root cause of burnout by allowing staffing leaders to make proactive, data-informed decisions because they now have real-time and predictive situational awareness. By shifting from a reactive entity to a proactive one, health systems are developing a more strategic, sustainable approach to solve chronic staffing issues and mitigate many of the factors that have long contributed to the healthcare staffing crisis.

Dr. Kikelomo (Dayo) Belizaire, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer at Pegasystems

I don’t feel there will be any “winners” or “losers” following the healthcare staffing crisis. Instead, I hope we’ll see a shared sense of accountability. The burdens of healthcare have long been placed on the shoulders of the providers at the expense of the patients. Investment in human capital and a solid IT infrastructure is crucial to effectively deploy the strategic initiatives essential to the business’s future and the patients we serve, without this, we will all lose.

Heather Bassett, Chief Medical Officer at XSOLIS

COVID-19 and pre-existing staffing challenges put immense burden on healthcare organizations, in particular hospitals. Traditionally manual tasks like utilization management reviews hinder nurses’ productivity, increasing the risk of burnout. By applying AI and machine learning-fueled technologies, hospitals can transform these review processes to better utilize their existing staff, creating more efficiency and patient focus, ultimately leading to better job satisfaction.

Tom Milam, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Iris Telehealth

Providers across the country, specifically those in behavioral health, are suffering burnout due to the increased number of patients seeking care related to the pandemic. In fact, we are seeing many providers leave the profession or retire early as a result, which further fuels the ongoing provider shortage problem we’re seeing in the mental healthcare space.

When implemented properly, telepsychiatry can help address the challenge of provider burnout by offering behavioral health providers a sense of control and autonomy over their schedules. Thus, enabling them to spend more time with their family, engage in self-care, and take appointments from the comfort of their own home.

(Video) Healthcare workers warn of increasing burnout as staffing shortages linger

Additionally, providers no longer need to worry about the wasted time or the expense of a commute, especially in rural areas where they might have to travel further to see patients. And finally, allowing a provider to practice from a setting where they are more comfortable improves the quality of care for patients.

Sanjeev Agrawal, President & COO at LeanTaaS

Amid the “Great Resignation,” the hiring field has been especially tumultuous, both in healthcare and in technology. Organizations are learning to address new employee needs in response to workers quitting in droves. There are several ways that companies can support their remote teams.

Primarily, remote employees want the same opportunities they might receive in person. Companies need to avoid proximity bias and provide growth opportunities, skill training, mentorship, and competitive benefits to all workers. The best employees are always looking to learn new tricks of the trade and enhance their leadership skills, so providing training and mentorship is essential to upskilling, which in turn benefits both employee and employer.

Additionally, benefit expectations have changed over the years, and employees now ideally would like to work from wherever they feel most productive, whether that’s from home, in the office, or at a coffee shop. In today’s world, many employees who can work remotely won’t work for a company that requires them to come into the office multiple times a week, companies who require this may risk losing out on top candidates. Flexible working environments are no longer a nice perk, but a requirement for companies that want to entice competitive talent and support their workforce.

Mudit Garg, CEO at Qventus

In today’s extremely challenging staffing environment, the health systems that prevail will be those that can do more with less. To do that, one key strategy that leading organizations are pursuing is automation. And not just back-office automation, but also automation of operational activities that touch frontline teams. For example, by automating and optimizing OR scheduling, innovative organizations have been able to increase the total number of OR cases while simultaneously reducing the number of staffed ORs.

Jeff Gartland, CEO at Relatient

(Video) Why are healthcare workers leaving the UK’s NHS? | UpFront

The true “winners” coming out of this crisis will be the organizations that zoom out and realize the underlying challenges they are experiencing today are many of the same challenges that have been plaguing healthcare for years. We are seeing the staffing shortage act as a catalyst for many organizations to prioritize modernizing and simplifying care experiences for providers, staff and ultimately the consumer. The ones that dedicate resources to solve for these challenges will achieve much more lasting and viable success moving forward.

Dr. Ujjwal Ramtekkar, Senior Medical Director, Mental Health at Teladoc Health

One of the root causes for burnout has been that sense of isolation and loneliness. Peer support groups and peer support networks both informal and formal are extremely important. If we are to think about it clinically anything that can create a sense of belonging and collaboration is beneficial. We already have existing team based models of care that will increase that fulfillment and reduce some of that moral distress. A good example is collaborative care models in mental health.

Srulik Dvorsky, Co-Founder & CEO at TailorMed

An increased demand for care over the past two years has caused a critical labor shortage for hospitals and health systems. Making matters worse, increased expenses for hiring additional (and sometimes temporary) staff to meet this demand, combined with administrative backlogs and denied claims, have driven up costs and lowered revenue for providers. Faced with these challenges, health systems are turning to technology and innovation to help build new levels of efficiency and agility, empowering staff to do more with the resources they have as a means to reduce pressure on an already overburdened workforce.

Technology and automation allow repetitive administrative and clinical tasks to be handled in the background, improving operations and workflows. Innovative tools can significantly reduce manual, time-intensive tasks for healthcare staff, offering them much-needed relief so they can embrace higher-value priorities with their time. This not only improves working conditions for staff, but also benefits the business. For example, financial navigation is an indispensable service connecting patients to resources enabling them to afford their care, but the process is often manual and reactive. Innovative digital solutions can automate this process to proactively identify patients in need, expedite enrollment in relevant funding opportunities, and enhance internal communications.

Financial navigation technology streamlines workflows to relieve staff of a significant administrative burden, while reducing costs for patients, and lowering uncompensated care and bad debt for providers. By leveraging technology to drive efficiencies, hospitals and health systems can not only support their workforce during the ongoing healthcare staffing crisis, but also improve their bottom line.

Karen Conley, DNP, RN, Senior Vice President of Clinical Services at Kyruus

(Video) Navigating the Current Healthcare Landscape: COVID-19, Staffing Crisis, and Administrative Burden

We all know health systems were hard hit by COVID-19 and left a lasting gap in the healthcare workforce. In fact, our recent provider survey indicates that staffing shortages are one of today’s top clinical and industry challenges. The time is now for health systems to engage with providers and leverage new technologies to alleviate stress on an overburdened workforce. Implementing solutions such as practice management tools, integrated online scheduling, and expanding virtual care offerings can lighten the load for providers and staff while also improving the patient experience.

What great insights into this pressing issue! What are your thoughts/solutions to burnout and the staffing crisis happening in the healthcare workforce? Comment down below or on social media!

TagsBryan Dickerson burnout Dr. Kikelomo (Dayo) Belizaire Dr. Ujjwal Ramtekkar Healthcare Automation Healthcare Burnout Heather Bassett Hospital IQ Iris Telehealth Jeff Gartland Karen Conley Kimberly Hartsfield Kyruus LeanTaaS Mudit Garg Pegasystems Qventus Relatient Sanjeev Agrawal Srulik Dvorsky Staffing Crisis Staffing Issues TailorMed Teladoc Health Tom Milam VisiQuate XSOLIS

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(Video) “Where did all the health care workers go? Health workforce trends before and during the pandemic”


Which of the following reduces burnout in healthcare workers? ›

Psychiatric programs (Yoga, meditation, and mindfulness programs) can help reduce burnout and improve mental health.

Why is there a shortage of healthcare professionals? ›

The NHS has too few nurses, midwives, GPs, hospital doctors and mental health workers. Staff are leaving the service due to low pay, work-related stress and reduced job satisfaction, whilst recruitment and retention continues to be a growing problem.

Why is the NHS short staffed? ›

Staff groups said they feared that low pay, burnout from heavy workloads and constant pressure during shifts, compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic, were leading demoralised workers to quit. Across England, one in 10 (10.3%) nursing posts are lying empty, and one in 17 (5.8%) doctors' posts.

How do you solve burnout in healthcare? ›

Practice stress reduction techniques including deep breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation.
  1. Take time off before burnout sets in. ...
  2. Connect with friends and colleagues to reduce feelings of isolation.
  3. Keep your appointments with your regular physicians to maintain good physical and mental health.

How do healthcare workers deal with burnout? ›

Take some time off – before burnout sets in. Do some self-reflection and notice what your own signs of burnout are. Keep up with basic self-care like eating a nutritious diet, getting exercise, and practicing good sleep hygiene.

How do you handle staffing shortages? ›

How to Manage a Staffing Shortage
  1. Act on Employee Feedback. ...
  2. Implement Reskilling and Upskilling Initiatives. ...
  3. Promote Work-Life Balance. ...
  4. Improve Your Company Culture. ...
  5. Increase Company Perks and Benefits. ...
  6. Hire Short-Term Workers. ...
  7. Continue to Build a Strong Team.

What are the effects of staff shortages in healthcare? ›

' According to a significant number of respondents, the uncertainty over staffing means it will take longer to meet stretching backlog recovery targets and reduce patient wait times, and there will be a negative impact on the quality of care.

What are the most critical issues facing the public health workforce today? ›

The issue of staffing shortages is one of the biggest challenges facing public health professionals. The problem is complex and has impacted the health care industry for decades. Yet it must be solved, because the alternative — poor health outcomes for patients across the country — is untenable.

How to solve staff shortage in NHS? ›

Commenting on new figures showing a record number of vacancies in the NHS in England, and government changes to health targets, UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said today (Thursday): “Staffing shortages are getting worse by the day.

How can nurses overcome staff shortages? ›

5 Tips for Dealing with Nursing Staff Shortages
  1. Develop a Culture of Open Communication and Recognition. Working in a fast-paced and understaffed environment takes its toll. ...
  2. Find Opportunities to Inject Positivity. ...
  3. Perform a Tech and Process Audit. ...
  4. Refresh During Your Shift. ...
  5. Draw on External Support.
8 Jan 2022

How can I improve my NHS workforce? ›

  1. Make the NHS a great place to work by prioritising staff support and wellbeing.
  2. Strengthen and support leadership at all levels.
  3. Make sure that we have enough people with the right skills to help care for patients now and in the future.
  4. Enhance retention drives for nurses to continue their NHS careers.

How can you improve employee burnout in healthcare? ›

Increase access to high-quality, confidential mental health and substance use care for all health workers. Rebuild community and social connection among health workers to mitigate burnout and feelings of loneliness and isolation. Combat bias, racism, and discrimination in the workplace.

What is the best way to deal with burnout? ›

Handling job burnout
  1. Evaluate your options. Discuss specific concerns with your supervisor. ...
  2. Seek support. Whether you reach out to co-workers, friends or loved ones, support and collaboration might help you cope. ...
  3. Try a relaxing activity. ...
  4. Get some exercise. ...
  5. Get some sleep. ...
  6. Mindfulness.

What are 4 strategies that help prevent professional burnout? ›

Preventing Burnout
  • Early recognition of burnout and related risks. ...
  • Cultivate ability to self-reflect. ...
  • Complete a periodic assessment and realignment of goals, skills, and work passions.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet.
  • Get enough sleep.

How do you address an employee burnout in healthcare? ›

3 Strategies for Reducing Burnout in Your Staff
  1. Lead with care. Meeting the demands associated with a constant state of emergency has been extremely hard on front-line workers. ...
  2. Invest in psychological support. ...
  3. Look at the schedule. ...
  4. Doing Nothing Isn't an Option.

What strategies could be used to prevent crises worker burnout? ›

3. Evidence-based recommendations to prevent and combat employee burnout
  • Provide stress management interventions. • Offer cognitive-behavioral training. ...
  • Allow employees to be active crafters of their work. • ...
  • Cultivate and encourage social support. • ...
  • Engage employees in decision-making. •

What is the solution to understaffed? ›

In addition to redistributing work, there are a couple common solutions for staffing shortages: hiring replacement employees and outsourcing lower-level tasks. But amid the Great Resignation's persistent talent shortage, many managers are finding that their usual go-to solutions aren't enough.

How would you manage a situation of being understaffed? ›

7 helpful tips to manage an understaffed team
  1. Communicate: Acknowledge that you are understaffed. Let employees know that the company is understaffed and why. ...
  2. Prioritize responsibilities. ...
  3. Redeploy staff. ...
  4. Allow employees to trade responsibilities. ...
  5. Get leaders involved. ...
  6. Embrace flexibility. ...
  7. Consider short-term help.

How can staffing affect the healthcare and quality of care? ›

The lack of adequate nurse staffing can result in longer lengths of stay, patient dissatisfaction, higher readmissions and more adverse events — all things that can decrease quality and increase impacts on the bottom line.

How will nursing shortages result in workforce issues for other healthcare professionals? ›

Hospital administrators report that nursing shortages leave them unable to properly support and mentor new nurses, leading to lower job satisfaction and faster burnout, further exacerbating the problem. These issues in the healthcare labor market are expected to continue over the next 5–10 years.

How does staffing levels affect patient care? ›

In general, hospitals with more favourable staffing levels consistently have better outcomes. Patients in hospitals with a high patient-to-nurse ratio had an increased mortality rate by 26%. The impact of a patient-to-nurse ratio on nurses is very significant.

What are the 4 biggest challenges facing the healthcare sector? ›

Major Challenges Facing the Healthcare Industry Today
  • Cybersecurity Threats.
  • Telehealth Implementation.
  • Invoicing and Payments.
  • Price Transparency Mandate.
  • IT Healthcare Investments.
  • Patient Experience.
  • Effective Payment Models.
  • Healthcare Staffing Shortages.
24 May 2022

What are the five challenges facing healthcare today? ›

5 Current Issues in Health Care and What Administrators Can Do
  • The High Cost of Health Care. The problem: Perhaps the most pressing issue in health care currently is the high cost of care. ...
  • The Concerns of Health Equity. ...
  • The Promise (and Pitfalls) of Technology. ...
  • The Move Toward Value-Based Care. ...
  • The Growing Provider Shortage.
23 Oct 2022

What are the four 4 major problems faced by the community health care worker? ›

The challenges experienced by the CHWs included influence of social conditions, mental health status of the patient, patient adherence, communication and work environment.

What strategies can nurses use to help resolve conflict in the workplace? ›

How to resolve conflicts in nursing
  • Assess the situation. ...
  • Understand the conflict. ...
  • Address the conflict promptly. ...
  • Reach out to the other party. ...
  • State your concerns clearly and calmly. ...
  • Focus on the issue rather than the person involved. ...
  • Listen with an open mind. ...
  • Collaborate through dialogue.
15 Feb 2021

What is being done to prevent nurse burnout? ›

Improve nurse-to-patient ratios

Improving nurse-to-patient ratios could help prevent burnout and also benefit both patients and hospitals. By improving nurse-to-patient ratios, it's possible to improve mortality rates in hospitals. A study found that with every nurse hired, there was a 7% reduction in mortality rates.

How can nurses overcome burnout? ›

  1. How to Deal With Nurse Burnout: Coping Strategies and Tips. ...
  2. Take Inventory of Your Stressors. ...
  3. Engage in Healthy Activities. ...
  4. Practice Mindfulness and Breathing Techniques. ...
  5. Set Boundaries. ...
  6. Consider Changing Careers. ...
  7. Learn Compartmentalization. ...
  8. Seek Support.

How can the healthcare workforce be improved? ›

Six principles to enhance workforce flexibility
  1. Measure health system performance from the perspective of the patient.
  2. Minimise training times.
  3. Regulate tasks (competencies), not professions.
  4. Match rewards and indemnity to the levels of skill and risk required to perform a particular task, not professional title.
7 Apr 2015

What are some methods to improve workplace health? ›

14 ways to help improve employee health and well-being
  • Eat a good breakfast. ...
  • Be prepared to handle stress. ...
  • Reduce sitting time. ...
  • Build a healthy lunch routine. ...
  • Encourage hand washing. ...
  • Prevent back pain from sitting. ...
  • Avoid digital eye strain. ...
  • Make time for physical activity.

How can you improve team working in healthcare? ›

Clear roles and responsibilities

Boundaries and ownership of decision making are often a key concern. An effective leader should help to designate roles and responsibilities to each member of the team. Each member should be aware of their personal role as well as the roles of others.

What are 5 strategies to avoid burnout and reduce stress? ›

Prevent Burnout with 5 Simple Strategies
  • Find time for yourself. Do you spend all your time working and taking care of family or friends? ...
  • Reach out to others. Prevent burnout by talking about your concerns or worries with others. ...
  • Dig deep into your mind and soul. Look inward. ...
  • Focus on the positive.

How can the effects of burnout be reduced? ›

To get started:
  1. Evaluate your options. Discuss specific concerns with your supervisor. ...
  2. Seek support. Whether you reach out to co-workers, friends or loved ones, support and collaboration might help you cope. ...
  3. Try a relaxing activity. ...
  4. Get some exercise. ...
  5. Get some sleep. ...
  6. Mindfulness.

What are some methods to improve workplace health in healthcare? ›

7 Simple Ways to Improve Employee Health
  • Provide Health Education. ...
  • Promote Health-Related Activities. ...
  • Encourage Preventative Care. ...
  • Provide Incentive Programs. ...
  • Offer Healthy Lunches. ...
  • Provide Onsite Fitness. ...
  • Offer Corporate Screenings.
29 May 2018

How can burnout be prevented what are the possible interventions? ›

Being exposed to continual stress can cause us to burnout. Feelings of exhaustion, anxiety, and isolating from friends and family members can be some of the signs. However, eating a balanced diet, regular exercise, and getting a good night's sleep may prevent this stressed state.

What are the 7 ways to avoid burnout? ›

Here are seven ways to put a stop to burnout before it gets out of control.
  • Stop working excessive hours. ...
  • Don't let yourself get overwhelmed. ...
  • Consider how often you're making mistakes. ...
  • Set office hours. ...
  • Take breaks. ...
  • Establish priorities. ...
  • Set goals.
4 Jan 2022

What are effective and realistic strategies to reduce and or prevent burnout? ›

Improved self-care strategies:

Minimize or eliminate alcohol and caffeine. Develop and follow a healthy eating plan. Take time away from work if the burnout impairs your ability to function or requires treatment. Ensure the recovery process includes developing a healthy approach to work.

What are 3 effective strategies to handle stress and reduce its effects? ›

Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals. Exercise regularly. Get plenty of sleep.

How would you prevent burnout and handle the stress of customer service? ›

9 ways to reduce the risk of customer service burnout
  1. Create a safe environment. ...
  2. Be prepared with helpful resources. ...
  3. Make operational improvements. ...
  4. Offer a path forward. ...
  5. Advocate for resources and help. ...
  6. Look after your own health. ...
  7. Offer (and protect) out-of-queue time. ...
  8. Make time for consistent, quality one-on-ones.
26 May 2022

What are the 3 main strategies to reduce stress? ›

Here are some stress relievers:

Take a few slow, deep breaths until you feel your body un-clench a bit. Go for a walk, even if it's just to the restroom and back. It can give you a chance to think things through. Try a quick meditation or prayer to get some perspective.

What is the best way to recover from burnout? ›

Try these tips:
  1. Make enough time for restful sleep.
  2. Spend time with loved ones, but don't overdo it — alone time is important, too.
  3. Try to get some physical activity in each day.
  4. Eat nutritious meals and stay hydrated.
  5. Try meditation, yoga, or other mindfulness practices for improved relaxation.

How does it take to recover from burnout? ›

Burnout recovery may take as long as three years: A study of coping: Successful recovery from severe burnout and other reactions to severe work-related stress.

What are the coping strategies of burnout? ›

Coping strategies: physical self-care (i.e., diet, physical activity, sleep, hobbies), emotional and physical distancing, social and emotional support. Positive coping strategies reduce or buffer the negative effects of work stress on job performance and negative coping strategies increased the negative effects.


1. Burnout in Healthcare Workers - with Psychiatrist Jessi Gold
(Chaplaincy Innovation Lab)
2. Health care workers describe burnout and prolonged stress of dealing with COVID-19
(CBS News)
3. Nurses Face Burnout And Staffing Shortages After Working Through The Covid Pandemic | MSNBC
4. Burnout and Mental Illness: The Silent Epidemic of Healthcare Workers | What Can We Do?
(Nurse Liz)
5. Health-care workers battle burnout as omicron surges
(Washington Post)
6. The Mental health impact on healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic
(Psychiatry Simplified)
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