On May 12, HC3, Jarrard Inc, and Radiology Partners collaboratively hosted the first of a two-part Safe Return to Care event as part of HC3’s ongoing Transformation Series. The American Medical Association’s Practice Transformation Group opened the event with a keynote presentation sharing insights from their 2020 Coping with COVID-19 for Caregivers Survey. Following the presentation, a panel of health care experts discussed best practices and solutions to alleviating stress and identifying and supporting our colleagues who are highest at-risk for burnout. They also shared how some organizations are rethinking their organizational culture to better instill values alignment, quality emphasis, and good communications to build a more resilient workforce.
Molly Cate, Founding Partner and Chief Innovation Officer, Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock
Kyra Cappelucci, Practice Transformation Project Administrator, American Medical Association
Christopher Mattern, MD, Practice President of Greensboro Radiology and Associate Chief Medical Officer of Radiologist Experience, Radiology Partners
Mark Wenneker, MD, Principal and Behavioral Health Segment Leader, Chartis Group
Watch the Recap | Link to YouTube
2020 Coping with COVID-19 for Caregivers Survey: Presented by, Kyra Cappelucci, Project Administrator, Practice Transformation, AMA (American Medical Association)
Presentation for download:
The American Medical Association (AMA) has been collecting survey data to analyze workforce shortages and the overall well-being of the health care workforce across the country for several years. With the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, their 2020 results were informative in a different way than years previous.
Key Observations and Results:
· Last year the AMA surveyed 53,218 health care workers: mostly, but not exclusively, clinical staff
· Over 40 percent of all respondents reported burnout
· Physicians did not report any drastic spikes in burnout during COVID-19
· Almost 50 percent of nurses reported depression or anxiety
· Forty-six percent of respondents felt valued by their organization
· Another 46 percent said they felt an increased sense of meaning and purpose during COVID-19
· Physicians had the lowest increased sense of meaning and purpose of all types of respondents
· Twenty-seven percent of respondents noted a moderate, likely, or definite chance of reducing clinical hours in the next 12 months
· Twenty-seven percent of respondents also reported a moderate, likely, or definite chance of leaving their practice
Ultimately, clinician morale is critical as we consider the future of the health care workforce. Some possible solutions include increased clerical support, easy access to healthy food while at work, and individual access and resources for mental health care. Organizational solutions and actions could also include an emphasis on meeting basic needs, strong communication and leadership, reflection and peer support, normalizing opportunities to seek help or personal assistance, and making access to resources easy and measurable. The AMA’s work around burnout is ongoing and extends beyond just AMA members.
Mark Wenneker, MD: Introduction
Clinician burnout was very apparent to Mark dating as far back as his time at medical school; burnout has been an issue for a long time. The Chartis Group is very engaged on burnout and recently hosted two events on the topic. There is limited research in the U.S. about clinician burnout, making the AMA data and survey very compelling. The rate that individuals [health care workforce] feel valued is really unacceptable. The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) recently released a survey indicating that 40 percent of health care workers had anxiety or depression, similar to the AMA study. The KFF survey also found that women were more impacted.
Chris Mattern, MD: Introduction
At Radiology Partners’ CMO role is a shared responsibility. Chris is primarily focused on the provider experience. Radiology Partners is about to launch a few new programs, one of which will be for incoming physicians, as well as one for outgoing. Older and more experienced physicians have an opportunity to advise younger or new physicians. Chris was surprised at amount of individuals who reported not feeling valued and being ready to leave their positions.
Molly: Working with providers, are you seeing similar results to what the AMA found? What are solutions?
Mark: The AMA data is consistent with what Mark is observing in the field. The Chartis Group encourages their clients to consider it as a multi-faceted problem. Burnout is complicated and is impacted by many different factors. One considerable factor is everything external, which the individual systems are not likely to be able to fix or account for. There has to be focused movement from the top down within individual organizations or things will not change. It is as simple as making the jobs easier for clinicians, by asking clinicians what they want – for example improving their electronic health records experience.
Chris: Individuals being heard is critical to directly addressing and combatting burnout. Where and whom they would like to be heard by is vital. If this happens, the workforce will become more engaged and feel more valued.
Kyra: Sharing the data and progress of this work is important. Morale can and will be boosted if the board and executives are involved and the workers are kept apprised.
Chris: Radiology Partners followed that protocol of engaging the highest levels of leadership, and keeping their teams apprised and saw incredible appreciation and feedback. It might be harder to keep everyone involved on a larger scale and for a large organization, but those solutions are worth exploring.
Mark: Ongoing research and data gathering can’t be taken for granted. Data gets old quickly, so if research is not kept going, it is a message to providers that they and their wellbeing are not the priority.
How has COVID-19 changed how the industry thinks about burnout, as it has for other things like telemedicine?
Kyra: Generally, people are thinking and talking about burnout more than ever before. Because of COVID-19, the AMA has recently worked on burnout with organizations that were not previously engaged, and this trend is going to continue. Wellness for the workforce needs to be a core institutional goal. There is an acceleration of available resources because of COVID-19 that was never present before.
What are specific examples of success in addressing physician burnout?
All: Accountability and structure are vital for these ventures to be successful. Physicians are not just interested in money, but also ways to ease administrative burden and maintain work/life balance.
What are ways organizations can support physicians' mental and behavioral health?
Chris: Physicians' mental wellbeing naturally dissipates in the absence of opportunities to connect with colleagues. Support systems like coaching circles are vital because they give physicians a safe space to talk.
Additional Resource for download from Jarrard Inc and Chartis Group: