Clinicians and Covid-19 burnout

A new report has suggested one in three clinicians are considering leaving their current role by 2024 with as much as half of this group in some countries leaving healthcare for good. This comes on top of the existing global healthcare workforce shortage, where clinicians continue to experience severe levels of fatigue and burnout since Covid-19 was declared a pandemic.

Elsevier Health’s first Clinician of the Future global report, conducted in partnership with Ipsos reveals current pain points, predictions for the future and how the industry can come together to address gaps.

The global survey, completed by almost 3000 clinicians across the world, found that 71 per cent of doctors and 68 per cent of nurses believe their jobs have changed considerably in the past 10 years, with many saying their jobs have gotten worse.

The report calls for urgent support for the healthcare workforce, such as enhanced skills training, especially in the effective use of health data and technology; preserving the patient-doctor relationship in a changing digital world; and recruiting more healthcare professionals into the field.

“Doctors and nurses play a vital role in the health and well-being of our society. Ensuring they are being heard will enable them to get the support they need to deliver better patient care in these difficult times,” said Jan Herzhoff, President, Elsevier Health.

“We must start to shift the conversation away from discussing today’s healthcare problems to delivering solutions that will help improve patient outcomes. In our research, they have been clear about the areas they need support; we must act now to protect, equip and inspire the clinician of the future.”

“As a practicing doctor, I am acutely aware of the struggles today’s clinicians face in their efforts to care for patients,” said Charles Alessi, MD, Chief Clinical Officer, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). “This comprehensive report from Elsevier Health provides an opportunity for the industry to listen — and act — on the pivotal guidance given by those on the frontlines. I commend this important initiative and look forward to next steps in supporting our doctors and nurses.”

Key findings from Clinician of the future

  • Clinicians predict that over the next ten years “technology literacy” will become their most valuable capability, ranking higher than “clinical knowledge”
  • 56 per cent of clinicians predict they will eventually base most of their clinical decisions using tools that utilize artificial intelligence
  • 69 per cent report being overwhelmed with the current volume of data and 69 per cent predict the widespread use of digital health technologies to become an even more challenging burden in the future
  • As a result, 83 per cent believe training needs to be overhauled so they can keep pace with technological advancements
  • 63 per cent say most consultations between clinicians and patients will become remote
  • 49 per cent predict most healthcare will be provided in a patient’s home instead of in a healthcare setting
  • 74 per cent of respondents predict there will be a shortage of nurses and 68 per cent predicting a shortage of doctors in 10 years’ time