How Tele ICU Helps In Reducing the Burnout and Stress among ICU Physicians?
Burnout syndrome, also known as BOS, occurs in almost every healthcare professional, especially those caring for critically ill patients (nearly 48%). In addition, almost 96% of physicians tend to agree that burnout causes depression.
Besides, almost 40% of medical professionals usually do not seek help regarding such a topic, which, sequentially, makes the matter even worse. Amongst the female doctors, around 94% of individuals do not disclose the issue of burnout and try to cope with it alone.
A recently published report has suggested that almost 300-400 people commit suicide due to the continual feeling of abjection and anxiety. Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, this situation is becoming even more desperate than usual. Thus, finding a solution in such a cataclysmic circumstance has become crucial for saving the physicians and their psychological health.
According to several studies in this context, burnout syndrome can occur due to several factors. For instance, while taking care of a critical case, a physician may have to stay with him/her for more than 24 hours. This, sequentially, makes them exceptionally tired and results in both physical as well as psychological burnout.
Furthermore, the severity of the issue of their patient can also cause a mental breakdown in many physicians. Generally, gender is not considered to be an independent predictor of BOS. However, it has been seen that female doctors tend to have almost 20% to 60% more fatigue than men.
Burnout in physicians can also hamper patient safety as it can cloud the clinical judgment of such clinicians.
How Can Tele-ICU be Beneficial in this Aspect?
The issue of Burnout is not recent or, contrary to popular belief, did not start during the pandemic. According to 79% of doctors, their burnout syndrome began before the emergence of COVID-19.
Around 58% of them have also stated that the most contributing factor in this aspect for them was the influx in bureaucratic tasks. Conversely, the other 37% hold spending a huge amount of time for work to be the cause behind their issue.
However, there is, in essence, no easy remedy available, which can help a physician counter the challenges contributing to BOS. According to a report, almost 41% of professionals tend to isolate themselves to treat burnout.
Nonetheless, recent research on BOS has suggested that Tele-ICU can effectively manage the issue of burnout in several ways. Some of them have been explained below –
- To begin with, in a Tele-ICU structure, a critical patient can be visited by several doctors remotely. Therefore, there is no need for a single person to work on the same continuously. Moreover, round the clock, the collaborative support provided by the doctors for their colleagues becomes even more prominent in this aspect.
- Due to the change in patients and variety of diseases handled, the doctors tend not to get too immersed in a single case too much. Thishelps in keeping their mind and thought-process fresher to work more proficiently. It may lower the issue of depression or self-isolation prominently especially as it might lower the amount of emotional investment in a patient.
- According to a report, almost 50% of physicians work for 50-80 hours on a weekly basis. Among them, many individuals also operate more than 15 hours daily, especially if they take care of a critical patient. However, with Tele-ICU, since the work is divided amongst many physicians, especially the mental and physical part, the exhaustion can be avoided.
- According to 37% of doctors, a lack of response from their colleagues can also affect their psychological stature and cause burnout. However, in Tele-ICU, the medical and mental responsibility of a patient is shared between the Doctors at the spoke hospital and at the command center through Tele-ICU. This relieves the anxiety and stress level of both of them as the responsibility of decision making is shared between them.
However, only incorporating Tele-ICU might not be the right solution for easing the complication of BOS. Aside from it, a healthcare center will also need to work on keeping a psychologist and a wellness center on their premises. These may help a doctor to lower the excessive physical and psychosomatic tension.
As per a report, almost 43% of doctors tend to experience extreme emotional exhaustion. Hence, at e-Next ICU, we are trying to improve the Tele-ICU technology furthermore, to help our physicians proficiently. Hopefully, our attempt will succeed shortly and make the cosmos of healthcare a much better proposition.