Doctors create habits in their practices, create a culture based on those habits and then hire people who align with that culture. The physician and the staff go through their daily routine relying on those habits. If things begin to change, the doctor’s initial reaction is to discount it, because change can be painful.
Physicians typically struggle with change, especially when what’s required are complete mindset-shifts, such as moving from fee-based care to value-based care or dealing with the increasing demands of patients.
This resistance isn’t a personal flaw, it’s a trait of how the human brain works, says Andi Simon, author of “On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights.” Simon is a corporate anthropologist who studies how change affects businesses. He has 20 years’ experience as a healthcare and financial executive.
Let’s utilize the necessary tools to fight the ever-increasing epidemic of physician burnout.
Let’s address some of the points from various angles:
· Physicians: They work hard and deal with patients’ lives, and their jobs and lifestyle are stressful. There is only so much they can possibly do. If we increase job pressure and mandated regulations without more support it will result in burnout, or dropping out, shortcuts being taken and a lower quality of care.
· Regulatory mandates: Regulations need to be balanced with capability of the community. Higher expectation does not always lead to better delivery of services. Mandates must be created and adjusted to the capabilities of physicians.
Many physicians have learned to approach new ideas with the negative attitude of “everything is incredible unless proven otherwise” We rely too much on evidence-based medicine. So much so that we create a monster out of minor issues.
We tend to read the fine print in articles and journals, looking for who sponsored that study before we even read the title. We work harder to find ways to criticize the publication than we do to take away at least one positive learning point.
But we have no fear of admitting if we don’t know and we are willing to learn new things. We hate criticism and we are afraid of humiliation and making mistake, and that is why we try hard to avoid those situations by not taking proactive stance or embracing change.
Physicians tend to find a comfort level with how they run their practice on a day-to-day basis. While these habits may have served them well in the past, the rate of change in medicine requires them to constantly adapt and change the way they do business.
Every physician has encountered a patient who comes in having already found a diagnosis from Google prior to their encounter. The fact is, patients are changing, and one of those changes is approaching healthcare like a consumer, the same way they approach any other product or service.
The brain hates to change. There is plenty research that shows the brain works really hard to deal with change and often wants to reject that change.
As a result, the brain likes to hang on to habits, believing that what has always been done will continue to work, even when evidence indicates otherwise.
Change or be left behind.
If physicians don’t adapt to these shifts in patient behaviors, they risk losing them and risk being overwhelmed. Are physicians taking a knife to a gun fight?
Physicians complain, try to solve healthcare problems through politics, employ the direct-pay business model and campaign — but the reality is that our revenue system and reimbursement model is one of the problems physicians are facing today.
Congress will not support positive change unless people and patients support a movement like VirtuMed 360, and are and empowered by it.
That is why utilizing right strategy, technology and innovation is the key.
Contact Dr. Adam Tabriz here.