Facing burnout? This app aims to help doctors relax

From the mHealthNews archive
By Eric Wicklund

Just in time for ICD-10, a Seattle entrepreneur has unveiled a mobile app designed to help physicians keep a positive outlook.

The Burnout Proof app, developed by Dike Drummond, contains stress management and balance tools, including videos, audio recordings and how-to guides, to help physicians cope with the pressures of the job. The features cover everything from walking, sitting and other relaxation therapies to an eight-minute chair yoga routine that can be done in the office.

"The epidemic of physician burnout must stop," Drummond, CEO of TheHappyMD.com, said in a press release. "We've packed 1,547 hours of one-on-one physician coaching experience into the "Burnout Proof" mobile app, so the videos, audios and handouts inside are available to any physician 24/7. This is everything we should have learned in residency about stress management, burnout prevention and life balance, but somehow did not make it on the curriculum."

ICD-10 notwithstanding, the evidence is piling up that doctors are overstressed, with many planning on leaving their profession or considering the idea. A 2015 physician lifestyle survey conducted by Medscape found that 46 percent of physicians are suffering from burnout, which not only causes physician turnover and behavioral health issues but can affect patient satisfaction and medical error rates.

Another survey of more than 400 physicians nationwide, conducted by Geneia, pegged the "Physician Misery" index at 3.7 out of 5, meaning the general mood among doctors is trending closer to misery than satisfaction. In fact, according to that poll:

  • 87 percent says the "business and regulation of healthcare" has changed the practice of medicine for the worse;
  • 78 percent say they frequently feel rushed when seeing patients;
  • 62 percent of physicians who have been practicing medicine for less than a decade – read: newer doctors – have considered other careers (overall, the percentage is 51 peecent); and
  • 67 percent say they know of a physician who is likely to stop practicing within five years due to burnout.

Drummond said the app will be made available to the general public on July 18, and will be offered as a free download for the 24 hours prior to that date. The join the list for the free download, click here.

See also: 

Patient experience officers on the rise

QuantiaMD targets physician burnout with new mobile, online resource

Stress reduction gets a mobile boost