5 Ways Better Patient Surveys Can Help Prevent Healthcare Burnout


Ryan Phillips
by Ryan Phillips, Customer Success
January 25th

Healthcare has experienced some of its greatest existential challenges over the past few years. Declining resources. Lagging patient engagement. A once-in-a-lifetime pandemic that rocked the very fabric of care delivery.

But one troubling trend within the industry has continued to rear its head for many years: widespread workforce burnout. Truthfully, this crisis started before COVID. In 2019, one Consensus Report by the National Academy of Medicine found over half of medical professionals experienced healthcare burnout. This pervasive pattern is only getting worse, with many clinical experts leaving the field as a result. An American Medical Association study revealed 40% of doctors plan on exiting their careers in the next two years.

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It’s clear that providers must take concrete steps to address this snowballing issue. Let’s dive into some key contributors to healthcare burnout and how a better approach to patient surveys can help prevent it.

How can advanced patient surveys help prevent physician burnout?

A range of factors contribute to healthcare burnout. For instance, limited upward mobility within organizations could make clinicians feel blocked. Demanding schedules leave caregivers with little time to decompress. The hierarchal nature of healthcare education could wear away at morale while medical students strive to advance in their careers.

How is healthcare grappling with these contributors? Many practices have turned to more engaging residency programs. Others offer expanded opportunities for advancement. Some have even provided their clinical staff with complementary wellness services.

Although these are all important steps, one often overlooked factor in supporting the healthcare workforce is lessening the operational friction clinicians and nurses face daily. Much of what underpins physician burnout lies in juggling tedious tasks, endless lists, and compliance measures with delivering high-quality care. It’s worn away at the enthusiasm and passion that many professionals enter the workforce with.

The harsh truth is that manual surveys classic to the regulatory space in healthcare have added fuel to this fire. Sure, they’ve revolutionized care delivery. But they’ve also caused significant frustration for patients, multiplied attention-grabbing tasks for trained clinicians, and produced lagging insights often too outdated to trust.

Healthcare needs more innovative survey administration methods. Those that embrace digital-first and efficient modes for collecting, organizing, and using data. Those built to make work simpler for clinicians — not busier.

When strategizing a best-in-class experience for your healthcare workforce that will reinforce efforts in physician and nurse retention, look no further than improving your patient experience surveys. A more advanced approach to listening to your patients can:

1. Eliminate some administrative work that pen-and-paper surveys require.

Doctors have a lot of routine tasks on their plates. For instance, they spend 21% of their workdays on EHR (electronic health record) data input alone. Ultimately, few contributors to burnout are as significant as the burden clerical responsibilities place on medical professionals. In fact, in a recent Doximity poll, 46% of physicians cited reducing administrative work as the most effective way to mitigate burnout.

Classic pen-and-paper surveys only grow physicians’ and nurses’ to-do lists, requiring them to manually gather and catalog feedback from patients — and work with outside consultants just to glean insights from this information. Survey administration that uses text messaging and digital formats streamlines this entire process, automating patient data collection and organization.

2. Reinforce patient-provider relationships.

Administrative burden isn’t just weighing down physicians and nurses. As caregivers spend more time on routine tasks and less time looking patients in the eye, their relationships with those they treat are wearing thin. In a Deloitte study, 70% of patients said their physicians lack compassion — a troubling finding that should worry every healthcare leader.

Embracing advancements in patient surveying can eliminate distractive busy work related to continuous listening, clearing the deck for doctors to put most of their focus toward their patients. And forward-thinking digital solutions like Feedtrail take things a step further, automating several necessary steps before, during, and after visits — removing many operational concerns and making way for more engaging patient-provider interactions.

3. Empower clinicians with actionable data.

As mentioned before, the status quo in patient surveying usually involves hiring a third-party consultancy to gather information and interpret results. But these outside firms often take weeks — or even months — to deliver providers cohesive results.

How can care teams feel effective in providing their patients with high-quality and personalized care without timely information? The simple answer is they can’t. Luckily, digital PX solutions that visualize these insights in real time empower healthcare workers to act when it matters most. Leveraging the most current PX information, physicians can understand where communication breakdowns are occurring and effectively address the exact issues their patients encounter during their experience — fostering more confidence in clinicians as they administer care.

4. Provide more regular, positive feedback to clinicians — in real time.

In the quickly evolving world of healthcare, having real-time insights is invaluable. It emboldens medical professionals to address patient concerns, identify gaps, and rapidly respond to correct them effectively and soundly.

But when it comes to retaining your workforce, it’s important to understand the gravity of celebrating wins, not just assessing areas for improvement. That’s why some of the most innovative patient surveying technologies actively communicate positive patient feedback to physicians. Feedtrail has found that 80% of the feedback collected in our system is positive and complementary in nature, and being able to seamlessly share this feedback with staff in real time helps reinforce why they do what they do. The best platforms in this space seamlessly convey these kudos to ensure care teams have a reason to celebrate on an ongoing basis, reinforcing initiatives in physician and nurse retention.

5. Improve the reputation of the organization that the clinicians and staff serve.

People take pride in their work. It’s no different in healthcare. Clinical staff show up every day because they care for people, and they expect their dedication to compassionate and connected care to be reflected in the organization they serve.

With provider reviews taking on a more significant role in reputation management for doctors, having a modern, digital-forward patient survey strategy with real-time data collection is paramount. The more your care teams can quickly recover from gaps in patient experience, the better your organization’s reputation becomes — online and offline. Additionally, with Feedtrail’s XM platform, you can rest assured that your most satisfied patients are seamlessly directed to leave reviews, increasing the quantity and rating of your organization and providers on online review sites, further boosting your team’s credibility with potential patients.

Leverage an Innovative Patient Surveying Strategy to Prevent Physician Burnout

It’s not just patient experience that benefits from advanced surveys. The wellness and resilience of your workforce do, too. But only the most forward-thinking surveying strategies effectively support your clinical staff to find joy in the workplace. That’s why teaming up with PX innovators like Feedtrail is your best bet for improving satisfaction for all your key stakeholders.

Feedtrail combines cutting-edge digital tools for surveying patients, gauging workforce satisfaction, elevating reputation management for doctors, and managing your online reputation all in one platform. Speak with one of our experts today to learn more about how Feedtrail’s comprehensive solution can help you address healthcare burnout.

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About Ryan Phillips, Customer Success: Ryan Phillips is a member of the Feedtrail Customer Success team and based in Long Beach, California. Ryan’s background in management consulting allowed him to bring expertise in software deployment and professional services to Feedtrail as the company’s first employee. Since then, Ryan has played a pivotal role in implementing, supporting, and strategizing with customers both large and small. Ryan has also had in hand in facilitating the development of the Feedtrail XM Platform applications such as employee experience, flexible messaging, and rounding.