Here are 11 actions for health care organizations to curb physician and medical staff burnout.
U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy MD, MBA, published “Addressing Health Worker Burnout: The U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory on Building a Thriving Health Workforce,” on May 23, 2022.
Here are 11 actions Murthy recommends for health care organizations to curb physician and medical staff burnout.
A workplace that cultivates relationships and uses open communication and participatory management to solve problems empowers staff to speak up and engage in efforts that can improve patient safety, quality of care, and build trust.
Organizations can also provide opportunities for recruiting and training health workers from the communities they serve; support rapid training for deployments to unfamiliar units; promote continuing education and professional development; and expand opportunities for career advancement, leadership, mentoring, and coaching at every level, especially for women and underrepresented minorities.
Health care organization leaders should commit to health worker well-being at the highest levels of leadership. Organizations should assess burnout, build in time for leave for workers, have zero tolerance for violence and ensure workers have adequate personal protective equipment.
Health care organization leaders should Examine questions on applications and renewal forms for jobs and hospital credentialing, and normalize conversation about the use of mental health and substance use care for staff.
Organizations can provide protected time for employees to access employee assistance programs or other mental health services and reiterate the confidential nature of those services.
Health care organizations should incorporate a proactive, evidence-based approach to suicide prevention, including identification and response in the workplace.
Health care workers can benefit from peer support model programs, learning networks, and opportunities during working hours to reflect on challenging circumstances and ethical dilemmas. Organization leadership should support interprofessional training and initiatives.
The 25x5 Symposium aimed to reduce administrative burdens by 75% by 2025 so that health workers can spend more time with patients. Health care leaders should look to optimize technology to increase time spent between health workers and patients, while increasing work schedule flexibility and autonomy.
Health care leaders must promote health worker diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. All workers should Identify and call attention to racist and discriminatory behavior to inform solutions.
Ensure patients and health workers have adequate time for and access to credible information, consistent with the best scientific evidence available at the time. Workers should receive professional education on proactively addressing health misinformation.