How Physician Practices Are Beating Healthcare Worker Burnout

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by Feedtrail
May 15th
  • Patient experience (PX) feedback doesn’t have to be a conversation-ender with physicians. With Feedtrail, it’s an effective tool for boosting staff morale and engagement, building a culture of recognition, and sharing best practices across your organization.
  • A former coach and a tech whiz share their experiences using Feedtrail to beat employee burnout from the C-Suites of two physician practices. They each share tips for getting organizational buy-in around PX initiatives by generating a positive feedback loop.
  • Patient experience goes beyond doctors and nurses — every staff member plays a part in delivering excellence. Sharing results in real time and adding a dose of healthy competition enables everyone to appreciate and feel ownership of their roles.

When physicians hear the words “patient experience feedback,” they often stop listening. They might assume that what comes next will be an onslaught of complaints, critiques of their work, or, at the very least, something else to clutter up their already busy workloads.

Free eBook – The Care Necessities: A Simple Guide to Elevating Patient Experience
However, according to Feedtrail’s Chief Strategy Officer Paul Jaglowski, over 80% of patient comments collected through our platform are positive. “If you’re not sharing that praise, you’re missing significant opportunities to remotivate the individuals who are providing care,” he says.

In the context of high employee turnover and healthcare worker burnout, real-time and aggregated patient feedback is a highly effective tool for physician practices to boost morale, share insights on what’s working, and increase staff engagement.

Paul sat down with Dennis Lamb, Chief Experience Officer at Texas Tech Physicians, and Jack Bretcher, the Chief Operating Officer at PartnerMD. Dennis and Jack spoke about their experiences using Feedtrail to bring visibility to patient experience (PX) data and build a culture of recognition that leads to happier and more motivated employees.


Texas Tech Physicians: Competition improves retention in healthcare

Dennis has worked to improve and reinforce the patient experience at Texas Tech Physicians for over two decades. But many of the valuable lessons that inform his work come from his previous career as a coach.

What worked yesterday may not work today

When Dennis saw engagement and morale slipping during and after the pandemic, he knew physician burnout was a real threat and that a “business as usual” approach wasn’t going to cut it. As a former coach, he understands the value of stepping outside the box rather than getting stuck in what you’ve always done.

“You have to be willing to change. If you don’t change and just do the same thing over and over and over, your result is not going to be the same — it’s going to start going down.”

— Dennis Lamb, Chief Experience Officer at Texas Tech Physicians

Dennis realized that if he expected healthcare professionals in his organization to change, he would need to change, too. “I had to find a way to get into their world instead of dragging them into mine,” he says. That’s where Feedtrail came in.

Switching to Feedtrail’s platform for PX surveys allowed Dennis to shift his focus from quantitative to qualitative data. As a result, physicians can now look at first-person insights and understand exactly what patients see, feel, want, and need.

The system sends an alert any time surveys come in — most of which contain kind words — so staff members receive positive feedback multiple times a day. “I’ve never seen anything like [this] as far as engagement goes,” he says. “I [now] see smiles on people’s faces and a willingness to have a conversation with me.”

Make fun part of beating physician burnout

In coaching, Dennis learned there’s nothing like some healthy competition to keep folks involved and motivated. By adding a dose of fun to his PX initiatives, he’s turned them from another item on the to-do list into a dynamic activity that everyone loves to be a part of.

For example, when March Madness rolled around, Dennis took the opportunity to create a similar showdown between various departments at Texas Tech — calling it “PX Madness.” The tournament was a friendly competition to see which teams would get the best weekly feedback scores. Just like the basketball version, there were brackets, rounds, and an ultimate champion — not to mention a company-wide obsession with the results.

Dennis’s initiative didn’t just spark a competitive spirit. It effectively drove home how every single department plays a role in contributing to a positive patient experience — from physicians and nurses to facility and administrative staff. And this team-driven atmosphere is a key ingredient in preventing healthcare worker burnout.

“It’s surprising how competitive everybody is,” Dennis says. The exercise sparked conversations about what was working and what people wanted to see changed — which made everyone want to be better as a result.

Recommended viewing: Improve Clinician Morale: Putting Patient Feedback to Work

PartnerMD: Create a positive feedback loop to prevent physician burnout

As a primary care concierge-model practice, PartnerMD puts PX front and center in everything it does. For several years, the practice has leveraged Feedtrail to share positive patient feedback with its staff in real-time and on a monthly basis. Here’s how this organization has harnessed this information to build the ultimate retention engine.

Real-time service recovery and physician praise

PartnerMD uses real-time feedback from patient surveys for service recovery when something goes wrong inside the practice. “We set our threshold so that, if anything is less than perfect, we notify our operational staff,” Jack explains.

The team then makes every effort to identify where the problem originated and talk to the clinical staff to understand what went right and what didn’t.

However, most of the patient feedback PartnerMD receives is excellent. Those reviews also get pushed out to leadership and the rest of the team, fostering a culture of recognition and praise.

Monthly newsletters and PX results

Every month, a member of Jack’s team bundles patient feedback results for the entire organization and shares them in a company-wide newsletter. Staff members at each location get to see the great things happening at other offices, and share their own insights and best practices.

“It creates a great kind of cross-polarization of ideas and experiences…it raises the bar and provides a way to generate a consistent experience across a bunch of locations”


— Jack Betcher, Chief Operating Officer at PartnerMD

By breaking down barriers to receiving feedback, Jack has created a culture where his staff doesn’t perceive feedback as punitive, but rather as a way to learn and improve. “What happens is you start to get more feedback, and you start to get more great feedback, and it takes on a life of its own,” he says.

Feedtrail’s AI-driven technology supports retention in healthcare

Having a thorough understanding of patient experience in real time allows physician practices to serve their communities better. But this feedback also helps all staff members to feel more ownership of their work — which translates into happier healthcare employees.

Dennis knows from his coaching days that any team can benefit from constructive criticism in the context of positive reinforcement. Feedtrail has made that possible for his organization.

Jack agrees. “Make a big deal of the feedback you get,” he says. “It makes the difference because it builds into who you are as a company and who you are as a culture.”

The Care Necessities: A SimpleGuide to Elevating Patient Experience