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Common Signs of Front Office Burnout

Posted by Aprillice Alvez on Dec 10, 2020 7:22:00 AM


Was there ever at a time when you felt your usual tasks were too difficult? Have you ever lacked the mental energy to focus on even a simple task? Have you ever felt hopeless after looking at your to-do list for the day? If yes, then you know what it’s like to feel burnout. And your front office staff may experience it, too. Let’s talk about burnout, its signs, and how you can spot it.

Defining Burnout

According to the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG), burnout was first used by the American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger in the 1970s. He described it as a consequence of severe stress and high workload in “helping” professions, such as people in the healthcare industry. The World Health Organization defines and classifies burnout as a “syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” They emphasize it as a work-related syndrome which is characterized by: 


  • A sense of severe exhaustion or depletion
  • Decreased productivity at work
  • Negativity or cynicism about work

Signs of Front Office Burnout

To determine the severity and risks, you can use the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) self-assessment test. 


The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) base their standardized assessment with 22 signs that are divided into three major groups: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and lack of personal achievement. However, it should not be used for scientific diagnostic techniques. 


Here are the top 3 signs to watch out for if someone is suffering from burnout:


1. Emotional Exhaustion

Emotional exhaustion refers to when an individual feels constantly drained from their work, regularly overextended, and incapable of getting ahead. For instance, your front office staff may feel like they are unnaturally exhausted from their usual tasks. 


2. Depersonalization

Depersonalization refers to an instance where an employee will distance themselves from work with sarcasm or cynicism. For example, your front office staff may seem unusually uncaring or unsympathetic towards the patients. 


3. Lack of Professional Accomplishment

Lastly, a lack of professional accomplishment refers to when a staff member may feel incompetent and falls behind in providing a top patient experience. They may feel that they are stagnant and not intellectually challenged. 


Here are also other signs and symptoms that an employee may experience when having burnout:


  • Irritability
  • Increased frustration
  • Suspiciousness
  • More time spent working with less being accomplished
  • Reduced efficiency and energy
  • Lowered levels of motivation
  • Increased errors
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches


If left untreated and ignored, it may result in the following:


  • Clinical depression
  • Poor physical health
  • Decreased job satisfaction
  • Reduced productivity
  • Extended absenteeism
  • More risk of accidents
  • Communication breakdown
  • Increased turnover
  • Inadequate workplace morale

How to Prevent a Front Office Burnout

Burnout is common but preventable. Here are some ways on how you can lower the risks of front office burnout in your clinic:


  • Set standards and give clear expectations for your front office staff 
  • Ensure that the staff has the required resources and skills to meet it.
  • Implement training every now and then for your staff to maintain competency.
  • Help your staff understand their value to the clinic and the importance of their contributions.
  • Enforce reasonable work hours and don’t overwork them.
  • Assess their workload so they won’t feel too pressured to remain working beyond normal business hours.
  • Establish reasonable and practical expectations. You should be clear where you expect them to excel and work at the highest standards. Also, set the line when it is okay to lower the bar. Don’t expect them to always be at their highest potential and best self.
  • Encourage and support the importance of having good relationships within the clinic and respect among staff members.
  • Support physical activity throughout the workday.
  • Encourage them strongly to take breaks away from work.

Partner with DrCatalyst

Avoid front office burnouts by partnering with us at DrCatalyst. We can expedite your front office processes from clinical, administrative, and even billing process. Our remote medical professionals will be more than happy to clear your way from the hassles and worries so you and your staff can focus on what matters the most, your patients. 


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Topics: Patience Experience

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