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  • Writer's pictureBruce Cummings

Dissecting Hospitals’ Limited Action So Far in Addressing Clinician Burnout

Were you under the impression that hospitals were perhaps not aggressively, consistently, and comprehensively tackling the epidemic of clinician burnout? Well, it’s even worse than you thought — this despite burnout being mentioned by hospital CEO’s as their #1 concern in 2023 according to the American College of Health Care Executives (ACHE).

Here’s the headline of a July 18 AMA news wire article written by Sara Berg: “Most hospitals fail to tackle physician burnout comprehensively”.

Clinician Burnout - Still a Problem

Citing findings from a random sample of 1,982 hospitals conducted during the period of April-June 2022 by the Joint Commission, the JCAHO found — and the AMA reported — that:

  • Only about one-third of health care organizations conducted a well-being assessment among their clinicians at least once in the previous three years.

  • Only 30% of hospitals had adopted a comprehensive approach to address well-being.

  • Only 10% of hospitals reported having an established senior leadership position responsible for assessing and promoting well-being at the organizational level.

  • Only 38% of hospitals reported having established a well-being committee.

Then there’s this stunner by David W. Baker, MD, executive vice president of health care quality evaluation and improvement at The Joint Commission and editor-in-chief of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety: “Even though there are resources available we’ve heard from many health care organizations that they just don’t know where to begin.”

Experts in Physician Wellbeing and Organizational Resilience

As experts in promoting clinician wellbeing and organizational resilience, we know that crafting an effective strategy to remediate clinician burnout may not be rocket science. But it does require focus, persistence, and above all, a genuine commitment by the c-suite to change the conditions which give rise to clinician distress, burnout, and turnover. Creating a bespoke, comprehensive assessment and action plan for one’s hospital or health system — and then supporting healthcare leaders in their implementation — is what impelled Paul DeChant, MD, MBA and me to create Organizational Wellbeing Solutions. We know how and where to get started — and how to make and measure significant forward progress — on the clinician and organizational wellbeing journey.

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