Find the resources your healthcare system needs to improve wellbeing
The COVID-19 pandemic has strained doctors and the healthcare system. As the world continues to battle COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, physicians and healthcare systems must provide much-needed support to physicians and other healthcare professionals. The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) has compiled a collection of tools as well as strategies to address systemic issues related to physician burnout.
Published on the NAM website, the “Compendium of Healthcare Worker Wellbeing Resources” is organized into six essential elements: advancing organizational commitment, strengthening leadership behaviors, conducting workplace assessments, workplace, review policies and practices, improve workplace efficiency, and cultivate a culture of connection and support. These elements are based on six practices to support organizational resilience and physician well-being.
The compendium is a product of the Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience, of which WADA is a sponsor. Christine Sinsky, MD, vice president of job satisfaction at the AMA, is also part of the collective as co-lead of the working group on implementing tools to improve clinician well-being.
Here are six essentials that healthcare systems should follow to reduce physician burnout and improve well-being.
“Organizational commitment involves visible actions and investments to show that a systematic approach to wellbeing is being undertaken,” the compendium states. Resources in this element include generalized playbooks and multidisciplinary frameworks that leaders and other health professionals can use to change the local culture.
To get started, check out AMA STEPS Forward™ toolkits such as “Creating the Organizational Foundation for Joy in Medicine” and “Establishing a Director of Wellness Position”.
“Executive leaders make key decisions about managing people and resources, and healthcare workers can champion healthy environments for their care teams and patients,” the compendium says. The resources here offer tips for developing leaders at all levels.
One of the resources offered is the AMA STEPS Forward toolkit, “Caring for healthcare workers in crisis: creating a resilient organization”.
“Assessment is key to understanding the extent and severity of burnout, as well as the well-being of members of any workforce,” the compendium states. For this element, the resources include validated tools to assess the state of the workplace.
The AMA’s Mini-Z Burnout Survey (PDF) is an instrument to measure burnout and assess system-level drivers. Another way to assess the financial impacts of burnout is available in the “Organizational Cost of Physician Burnout” toolkit.
“A resilient organization will periodically reassess its policies and practices and eliminate those that are no longer relevant or no longer needed.”
To help organizations re-examine their current policies and eliminate those that are irrelevant or unnecessary, check out the “Getting Rid of Stupid Stuff” toolkit or the “Debunking Regulatory Myths” series. This “deimplementation checklist” (PDF) can also help you.
To achieve workplace efficiency, the NAM Compendium recommends resources “that aim to facilitate and streamline staff tasks while maintaining clinical excellence.”
These include toolkits such as the AMA’s “Saving Time Playbook” (PDF) and “Team Documentation: Improving Efficiency, Workflow, and Patient Care.”
“An organization can best support its healthcare workforce by empowering people to do their jobs and then allowing them to return home safely with the time and emotional energy to engage in their personal lives with their family, friends and community,” the compendium reads. .
Resources for doing this include the “Peer Support Programs for Physicians” toolkit and “Success Story: COMPASS Groups Rejuvenate Relationships and Reduce Burnout,” among others.
The information and resources provided through the compendium align with the AMA Joy in Medicine™ healthcare system recognition program, which provides a roadmap for healthcare system leaders to implement programs and policies that support physician well-being. Last year, the AMA recognized 44 health systems across the country that met the robust and vital criteria.
Read the program guidelines (PDF) for a full overview of the criteria and apply for 2022 recognition today.
AMA STEPS Forward Toolkits are part of AMA Ed Hub™, an online platform with premium CME and training that meets the professional development needs of physicians and other healthcare professionals.
Learn more about AMA CME accreditation.