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See Signs of Therapist Burnout? The Right EHR Can Help.

3 Minute Read

This isn’t the first time we’ve broached the topic of therapist burnout, and unfortunately it won’t be the last. According to the American Psychological Association’s COVID-19 Practitioner Impact Survey, 45% of therapists have reported experiencing burnout. 

This percentage has increased over the years as therapists manage heavier caseloads and requirements in light of the rising demand of mental health services. But it’s also the nature of the job that makes burnout particularly prevalent in behavioral health therapy.

Author and integrative medicine professional Rachel Naomi Remen says it well: “The expectation that we can be immersed in suffering and loss daily and not be touched by it is as unrealistic as expecting to be able to walk through water without getting wet.”

Considering its prevalence and ramifications, it’s important that behavioral health practice leaders recognize the signs of therapist burnout and are partnered with an EHR vendor that is a dedicated support system for mental health providers.

Alongside self care measures and developing healthy boundaries between the workplace and their personal lives, therapists can also lean on the support of an EHR system that helps save them time and fights emotional fatigue

Common Signs of Therapist Burnout: 3 Signs to Look Out For

1. Emotional Exhaustion

Emotional exhaustion is cited as one of the common signs of therapist burnout by applied psychologists. When therapists feel overextended and stressed by their work, they can become chronically tired, which makes it more difficult for them to be present with clients. And more often than not, having to deal with this mental exhaustion makes them more prone to show up late to meetings with patients or cancel them altogether.

2. Compassion Fatigue

Therapists tend to be empathetic by nature. But the responsibility they feel for their patients’ lives, paired with their secondhand exposure to trauma, can overwhelm them over time. A common sign of therapist burnout is when therapists start feeling less empathetic toward their patients and have a harder time relating to their mental health struggles.

3. Physical Exhaustion

Signs of therapist burnout can take on physical forms too. Chronic stress from workloads and patient loads can lead to persistent headaches, stomachaches, high blood pressure, and other health concerns. Dealing with these physical symptoms not only makes it more difficult for therapists to get a good night’s sleep, but it also makes them more prone to taking time off.

The Impact the Right EHR Can Have On Therapist Burnout

Technology has the potential to help therapists be more efficient, support their mission to provide the most impactful care, and also take some pressure off of their shoulders. But EHRs often fall short of these goals — in fact, they tend to make matters worse. As highlighted in a Harvard Business Review article, “EHRs are complicated and hard to use and are often cited as contributing to clinician burnout.”

When an EHR fails to properly address the needs of mental health providers, it can actually contribute to therapist burnout, feeling emotionally exhausted, and other mental health issues

Not all EHRs are this way though. When an EHR is built specifically for the needs of mental health providers and allows for a tailored software based on behavioral health practice needs, it can prevent therapist burnout. Therapists can automate more of their daily tasks, and in doing so, they’ll have the bandwidth to manage higher patient and session volumes with greater ease and more time to spend focusing on patient care versus administrative tasks. This, in turn, creates better experiences for patients that leads to better client retention rates, improved patient outcomes, and more revenue for practices to improve their overall operations and care.

ClinicTracker is an EHR That Checks All the Right Boxes

We’re strong believers that EHRs should make life easier for mental health professionals. ClinicTracker, an EHR and practice management system, is a reflection of that.

It starts with the fact that ClinicTracker is backed by a team of professionals committed to serving behavioral health practices. It’s designed to be intuitive. Fine tuned to the world of behavioral healthcare, our EHR system offers mental health professionals a user-friendly experience that eliminates stress from their day versus adding to it. The software integrates EHR, revenue cycle management, and practice management into one HIPAA-compliant solution, allowing a mental health provider to access more of the patient information they need in fewer steps. At the same time, therapists have access to pre-defined templates that further streamline their clinical workflow and give them back more time in their day.

One of the reasons ClinicTracker is able to be so impactful in various mental health practice environments is the degree to which it can be tailored to individual practice needs. While digitizing paper forms, our EHR system also offers clinics the flexibility to map out their own workflow that includes forms relevant to their needs. What forms do clinicians need to fill out at the first visit? How often do clinicians need to update these documents to meet regulatory requirements? Automating these workflows can help support therapists remaining compliant without leaving the pressure on their shoulders to remember what forms need to be filled out and revisited.

A licensed professional counselor feels more balanced in the workplace with an EHR system that helps prevent therapist burnout

At the same time, ClinicTracker includes other features that help save therapists time. For example, the automated appointment reminders feature via ClinicTracker — and fully integrated with the online scheduler — generates automated reminders to patients about their upcoming appointments. These reminders help to reduce no-show rates and help therapists maximize use of their time by filling canceled appointments.

Combat therapist burnout with an EHR system built for clinicians by clinicians and supported by a team of professionals dedicated to being your partner. 

Request a ClinicTracker demo today.