Restoring Work/Life Balance: Why Healthcare Executives Should Care

Posted on October 2, 2011 by VITAL WorkLife

Work/Life Balance Continues to be a Healthcare Issue

WorkLife Balance

Healthcare reform, shrinking reimbursement rates and increased regulations are just a few of the stresses in the life of a healthcare executive—is it fair to add improving the work/life balance of highly paid physicians to your load? You handle your stress—can’t they handle theirs?

A 2010 article in American Medical News stated, “An unmanageable work schedule and out-of-control home life can lead to depression, poor performance at work, conflict with family and a feeling of burnout can lead physicians to question whether to stay in medicine at all.”

The reality is ensuring a healthy work/life balance for your physicians increases physician retention and productivity, improves patient care, reduces risk—and, over time, makes your job significantly easier.

  • Balancing work and life is a concern for 57% of physicians in the 2015 Stress & Burnout Survey report.*
  • A 2008 study for The Physician’s Foundation found 63% of physicians found long hours and lack of personal time as one of the least satisfying aspects of being in medical practice.
  • In the Merritt Hawkins 2015 Survey of Final Year Medical Residents rank having adequate personal time second only to geographic preferences when evaluating practice opportunities.*

STRATEGIES FOR HEALTHCARE ORGANIZATIONS

Given the growing importance of personal time both to recent graduates and doctors nearing retirement, here are some of the strategies healthcare organizations are using to increase retention, according to the 6th Annual Physician Retention Survey from Cejka Search and the American Medical Group Association:

  • Offering flexible hours and no call/reduced call as incentives to delay retirement
  • Expanding the number of part-time positions offered
  • Using hospitalists to reduce call schedules and hospital responsibilities
  • Providing mentors to newly hired physicians

STRESS REDUCTION: TAKING AN ACTIVE ROLE

VITAL WorkLife offers two unique solutions designed to help physicians balance work/life issues more effectively:

  • Physician Well Being Resources, an employee assistance program designed specifically for physicians
  • WorkLife Concierge, offered as part of Physician Well Being Resources, provides a telephonic, on-demand array of services to help physicians better manage their daily lives, and can help them with a variety of daily and special occasion tasks

“Our Physician Well Being Resources services make it easy for physicians to get any counseling and coaching they need, whenever and wherever it’s most convenient for them,” says Liz Ferron, senior consultant for VITAL WorkLife. “We work very hard to minimize disruption in their schedules and reduce stress in their lives.”

Designed specifically for physicians and their families, Physician Well Being Resources offers confidential counseling, coaching and support—by telephone or in person—anytime, day or night. Physician Peer Coaching is also available for physicians.

WorkLife Assistant is an all-in-one travel agent, personal assistant and researcher on needs as varied as finding a good assisted living facility for an elderly parent to planning a family vacation—free for physicians and their family members to use as often as they like.

“When a physician’s life partner is feeling short-changed or angry about the work load he or she must carry because of the physician’s demanding workload, Physician Wellness Resources offers a safe, confidential way to work through those issues,” notes Ferron. “WorkLife Assistant makes it faster and easier for physicians and their family members to get things done more effectively and save valuable time.”

Learn more about how the work/life balance of your physicians and providers can be improved with WorkLife Concierge: 25 Things You Don’t Have To Do Yourself.

We Can Help

WorkLife Concierge can help improve your work/life balance to free up more of your time to focus on what matters most to you. Contact us at 877.731.3949 or access resources through the VITAL WorkLife App to learn more about our solutions for physicians well being.

*Updated data since article originally published.

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