Calling on health systems committed to reducing physician burnout

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Is your health system dedicated to improving physician well-being and reducing burnout? Health systems that are addressing the systemic causes of physician burnout can receive recognition from the AMA for their efforts.

Health systems with more than 100 physicians or advanced practice providers (APPs) are invited to apply for the 2021 Joy in Medicine™ Health System Recognition Program. Organizations must also have signed the Charter on Physician Well-Being and assessed physician well-being within the last three years using one of four validated tools. Applications should be submitted on behalf of the organization, not individual departments.

If an organization has fewer than 100 physicians or APPs, they are encouraged to sign the Charter to note their commitment to the four guiding principles that promote and advance physician well-being and engage in the AMA’s STEPS Forward™ webinar series.

As part of the AMA’s Practice Transformation Initiative, the Joy in Medicine Health System Recognition Program serves as a road map to reduce burnout within health care organizations and unite the medical community on solutions that increase joy in the practice of medicine.

Recognition is based on three levels of organizational achievement: bronze, silver and gold. Each level is comprised of six demonstrated competencies. Levels are consecutive and an organization must meet at least five of the six criteria in one competency area before applying for the next level of recognition.

To receive bronze level recognition, an organization should have developed a formalized well-being committee or office of well-being.

For silver, organizations should establish an executive leadership position that is directly responsible for physician well-being. This individual must report directly to the C-suite leader.

Gold requires an organization to identify a formal strategic aim around improving physician well-being. This should be part of the organization’s strategic plan.

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When an organization provides aggregate findings from their most recent burnout assessment, they meet the bronze level. Organizations must also demonstrate that they have shared these findings with the entire organization.

To qualify for silver, organizations must demonstrate that they have formally assessed physician well-being using a validated tool for at least two consecutive years. Their leadership must also review these metrics and establish a target for improvement. When the costs of physician burnout are estimated annually and reported to the organization’s leadership, they fall under the gold level.

Work outside of work (WOW) should be measured through an EHR audit log data for select specialties to receive bronze level. Silver level requires WOW results to be reported to organization leadership. And gold level involves demonstrated development of an intervention based on results from WOW data.

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Bronze level requires assessment of all unit leaders using the Mayo Leadership Index or a similar instrument, with feedback to the leader within the last three years. Alternatively, organizations may also appoint a staff person to lead and complete query to eliminate outdated or unnecessary administrative burdens within the next six months.

To achieve silver, a leader development program that includes training in transformational leadership, fosters productive work environments and guides physicians’ careers should be implemented. These organizations should also query teams about administrative burdens that impede the work of others.

Organizations must share an example of how it has tailored its leadership program in response to the gaps identified in their leadership assessment to achieve gold recognition. These organizations should also show how they have actively dismantled administrative burdens identified in the original query.

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For bronze level, teamwork should be measured within the last three years in at least four departments. Silver level requires teamwork for orders measured in select specialties through an EHR audit. Teamwork results should also be reported to organization leadership.

Organizations must demonstrate how they have developed an intervention to improve teamwork based on results from a survey or EHR audit to receive gold level recognition.

Organizations that offer a peer support program that supports dealing with adverse events will qualify for bronze level. An Employee Assistance Program is not sufficient to meet these criteria.

A peer support program that is aimed at broader issues beyond adverse events and includes proactive planning for support during crisis will lead to silver level recognition.

Gold level requires a structured program that actively engages physicians to cultivate community at work, such as Mayo Clinic’s group meetings.

To apply for 2021 recognition, organizations will complete a self-assessment and application. Supporting documentation is required as part of the application process. An AMA-convened committee will review all applications and will award recognition status accordingly. Applications are due May 7, 2021. For questions about the Joy in Medicine Health System Recognition Program, please email [email protected].

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