How to Remain Productive During Stressful Situations
Before COVID-19, the healthcare industry was already under pressure to optimize systems and manage budgets. Now that our country is facing a pandemic, medical providers are experiencing enormous levels of stress on top of their usual concerns. The virus is causing varying results: hospital beds are filling… and at the same time, many medical providers have been forced to close their offices.
Causes of Stress for Medical Providers
How has your organization been affected in recent months? Many doctors and medical support staff are reporting that their stress levels are high due to changing circumstances that are impacting daily business:
- Safety Measures: Businesses have the added pressure of maintaining high levels of sanitation in their offices to protect patients and staff members. These safety measures require more cleaning and adjustments to appointment scheduling so that everyone can maintain social distancing.
- Remote Workers: Whenever possible, businesses in all industries are encouraging employees to work from home to minimize the spread of the virus. If you have staff members working from home, you are facing a new dynamic of employee management from a distance.
- Unhappy Patients: Limited office hours and a temporary suspension of services deemed “non-essential” make it hard to support the needs of your patients.
- Downsizing: In some situations, employees have been furloughed because of cash flow issues. When business slows, you may not have the financial resources or need to pay for a full staff. Not only is it stressful to lay people off, but you also have the added burden of shifting work assignments among the remaining staff.
These factors, among many other issues rising from the COVID-19 pandemic, are causing stress for medical providers across the nation.
5 Tips for Managing Your Stress
Have you noticed that stress is affecting your life? As you are working to maintain your medical practice in these uncertain times, it is essential to be proactive with your stress-management strategy. Here are a few tips to help:
- Work-Life Balance: One of the benefits of limited office hours is the extra time you can spend at home with family. Even though your office hours are limited, look for ways to find joy in the daily moments with the people you love. This experience is a great reminder for busy healthcare professionals to find a better work-life balance.
- Daily Self Care: Maintaining a daily schedule is more important than ever. Look for ways to maintain productivity when you are outside the exam room. For example, start the day with a morning routine that includes a healthy breakfast, exercise, motivational quotes, or anything else that helps you feel empowered for the day.
- Destressing Techniques: Certain habits have been proven to help reduce stress. Try meditating, joining an online yoga class, practicing deep breathing exercises, or spending time on muscle relaxation exercises. These strategies might seem small, but daily stress relief can add up to support both physical and mental health.
- Focus on the Facts: When emotions are running high, it is a challenge to make the decisions that best serve the needs of your medical office. Strive to focus on the facts so you can implement non-emotional decision making. Getting caught in the news headlines can increase stress. Instead, determine the right course of action by looking at the guidelines from the CDC, WHO, and other authoritative resources.
- Office Systems: As workflow changes, it is essential that you have the right systems in place in the office. Simplifying these systems helps with information management, which takes away your involvement in the busywork. For example, with RecordQuest’s ROI Services patients and third-parties can request records electronically, resulting in a significant reduction of staff admin time.
Everyone reacts differently in stressful circumstances, which is why it is essential to consider your unique needs. How you respond to your stress depends on your personality, business needs, and family situation.
With the right stress management techniques, you can build resilience in these hard times – giving you an opportunity to improve your medical office for the future.