Survey of Health IT Pros Reveals High and Frequent Stress Levels | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Survey of Health IT Pros Reveals High and Frequent Stress Levels

July 21, 2016
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

A survey of approximately 500 health IT professionals by HealthITJobs.com has revealed that 55 percent of such professionals are frequently or constantly stressed, and 38 percent say their stress is high or extremely high.

The report looked at stress-causing factors such as time spent in meetings, hours worked per week, whether or not an individual manages other people, how frequently they exercise, and how much energy they have. An additional 45 percent of respondents said their stress occurs on a frequent or constant basis. Very few respondents report a low level of stress that occurs infrequently.

As far as which health IT jobs are the most stressful, managers are more likely to report higher levels of stress than professionals with other job titles, but other than that, the survey did not find any one job title particularly more stressful than others. In fact, it seems other factors—such as time in meetings, workload, control over deadlines, and hours worked per week—have a greater impact on stress levels.

Those who are frequently stressed are more likely than those who are occasionally or rarely stressed to:

•             Work in IT management roles

•             Spend 11+ hours in meetings each week

•             Work 51+ hours per week

•             Have very little control over deadlines

•             Have an unrealistic amount of work to do in the time given

What’s more, constantly changing priorities was cited most frequently as a reason for stress on the job. Workload, unreasonable expectations, and unclear expectations were also commonly reported as stressors. More than a third of respondents (35 percent) said they have an unreasonable amount of work to do in the time given, and close to half (45 percent) said they have little to no control over the deadlines and timelines for accomplishing project milestones.

Despite the fact that managers often dictate workload and expectations, only 15 percent of respondents cited their managers as one of the top three sources stress. In fact, the top 3 adjectives used to describe managers were all positive— “supportive,” “trusts me,” and “smart.” However, for the few who did cite their manager as a source of stress, two-thirds ranked them as the number one cause.

Further, more than a third of respondents get six or fewer hours of sleep per night, and nearly half report exercising just once a week or not at all. One-third rated their physical health as ok, and a quarter rated it as less than ideal or poor. One quarter say they have a high level of energy first thing in the morning.

The report concludes, “Knowing the causes of stress is the first step towards managing stress in health IT jobs. While some stress is likely inevitable, individuals can take personal steps to exercise more, get more sleep, and set boundaries at work in order to lower their stress levels. Employers can use the data to help them recognize what causes stress on the job and take steps to change those factors.”

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More

Topics

News

Duke Health First to Achieve HIMSS Stage 7 Rating in Analytics

North Carolina-based Duke Health has become the first U.S. healthcare institution to be awarded the highest honor for analytic capabilities by HIMSS Analytics.

NIH Releases First Dataset from Adolescent Brain Development Study

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the release of the first dataset from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, which will enable scientists to conduct research on the many factors that influence brain, cognitive, social, and emotional development.

Boston Children's Accelerates Data-Driven Approach to Clinical Research

In an effort to bring a more data-driven approach to clinical research, Boston Children’s Hospital has joined the TriNetX global health research network.

Paper Records, Films Most Common Type of Healthcare Data Breach, Study Finds

Despite the high level of hospital adoption of electronic health records and federal incentives to do so, paper and films were the most frequent location of breached data in hospitals, according to a recent study.

AHA Appoints Senior Advisor for Cybersecurity and Risk

The American Hospital Association (AHA) has announced that John Riggi has joined the association as senior advisor for cybersecurity and risk.

Report: Healthcare Accounted for 45% of All Ransomware Attacks in 2017

Healthcare fell victim to more ransomware attacks than any other industry in 2017, according to a new report from global cybersecurity insurance company Beazley.