'Capable' physicians 61% less likely to report significant symptoms of burnout

A single measurement of employees' perceptions of their jobs can predict their performance, according to an athenahealth report. This measure — thought up by Harvard Business School professor Len Schlesinger — is called "employee capability" and it assesses whether the employee feels they have the latitude, resources and support they need to effectively cater to consumers.

In healthcare, physician capabilities refer to his or her ability to provide the best possible patient care with the least hassle.

"Doctors who do not meet the technical criteria of capability often feel that excess paperwork, weak staff and inefficient operations make it more difficult for them to provide optimal care," reads the report.

In other words, physicians must feel enabled — with the help of IT, strong teams and concise operational framework — in order to thrive. However, not all physicians feel capable, according to an athenahealth survey of 1,029 practicing physicians on its network.

Here are five things to know.

1. Physicians who self-identified as capable were 61 percent less likely to report symptoms of burnout and 76 percent less likely to say they plan to leave their organization within three years.

2. Physicians who report feeling capable are more productive, boasting 29.2 work Relative Value Units per day, compared to those who do not feel capable (25.6 wRVU per day).

3. Of athenahealth's most financially successful provider groups, 60 percent of physicians met the criteria for capability, compared with 43 percent for physicians in the lowest performing groups who did not.

4. Sixty-six percent of capable physician value teamwork more than individual performance, and of those physicians that place teamwork first, 75 percent are less likely to say they experience significant signs of burnout.

5. Seventy-nine percent of physicians that assessed themselves as capable gave their organization's leadership team the highest praise.

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