The quality of care and patient safety at Killeline Nursing Home are influenced by the doctor’s level of well-being. Two types of approaches make it possible to increase job satisfaction and reduce the risk of burnout. The first aims to improve individual stress management, resilience, and communication skills through measures such as mindfulness and support groups. The second approach focuses on improving working conditions, in particular by reorganizing timetables, optimizing working methods and promoting team spirit. The benefits are greater by combining these two types of approaches.
Professional satisfaction and the well-being of medical residents are essential not only for the quality of life of the practitioners themselves but also as factors influencing the quality of patient care and therefore their safety. Reduced quality of life in the doctor or the presence of a burnout syndrome also called “burnout”, itself linked to job satisfaction, are both correlated with an increase in medical errors. In addition, patient satisfaction with their care is correlated with the doctor’s professional satisfaction. On the other hand, the well-being of medical resident also has a definite economic impact. In fact, burnout is an important source of absenteeism and professional dissatisfaction increases the turnover of medical personnel.
In this article, we discuss proven effective measures to promote the well-being of medical residents and reduce the risk of burnout.
Burnout could affect at least one doctor in two at some point in their career in the United States and its frequency seems to have increased in recent years (54.4% in 2014 versus 45.5% in 2011). The situation is similar in Switzerland (an increase from 33 to 42% between 2004 and 2007) 5 and in Europe. Burnout is defined by three items: emotional exhaustion, lower self-esteem and depersonalization/cynicism.
PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITY AT KILLELINE NURSING HOME
Intellectual stimulation and the continuous development of skills throughout the career increased job satisfaction. On the other hand, taking part in academic or teaching activities is also associated with an increase in well-being. Several studies also show that professional autonomy, that is to say, freedom in the organization of the consultation and the choice of care, is positively correlated with professional satisfaction.
Finally, the balance between the effort invested at work and the financial reward is a recognized factor of well-being and satisfaction. Efforts to increase the doctor’s well-being should not, however, go through a performance-based remuneration system, proven to be counterproductive, because it increases professional stress. On the one hand, the incentive for more productivity leads to poorer patient management (less time per patient, more additional examinations), on the other hand, it pushes to work more, which can lead to burnout.
Physician satisfaction is correlated with their physical health. Well-being is comparatively higher in non-smokers and in the absence of overweight. On the other hand, there is an association between risky alcohol consumption and burnout. Regular physical activity and good quality sleep have also been shown to have a positive influence on well-being and reduce the risk of burnout.
TEAM SPIRIT AND INTERPROFESSIONAL COLLABORATION
It is recognized that encouraging exchanges between medical residents, whether formal or informal, significantly reduces stress at work. The creation of meeting places such as restrooms or joint offices, debriefing sessions on difficult situations helps to strengthen the team spirit.
Collaboration is also essential for medical resident arriving at a new position or in a foreign country. Support can be provided by mentoring or the formation of pairs for example.
At Killeline Nursing Home, the leadership competencies of executive physicians influence the well-being of the physicians they manage. Continuous training should systematically be offered to develop these skills, combined with regular assessments by the people they supervise.