As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to place tremendous strain on the resiliency and wellbeing of caregivers, 120 Massachusetts hospitals, physician organizations, and healthcare leader
s have signed on to a Massachusetts Medical Society-MHA initiative that commits the groups to continue their efforts in addressing clinician burnout.
The MMS-MHA Joint Task Force on Physician Burnout, in collaboration with local and national organizations, has analyzed the causes of physician and clinician burnout and identified and shared effective burnout reduction strategies. The to-date 120 groups will select a measure of clinician wellness or burnout, measure its prevalence in their organization over time, and include improving that measure as an institutional goal.
“Our caregivers are often called heroes, but they are still very much human and are subject to more stress and strain than ever before,” said Steve Walsh, MHA president and CEO. “Hospitals and healthcare leaders are focused on ensuring that our most valuable resource – our clinicians – get the support they need. This latest commitment has the flexibility to allow organizations to focus on specific areas tailored to their individual needs, which ultimately helps us address burnout on a united front.”
“The issue of clinician burnout was at an alarming level long before COVID-19. We are fortunate that healthcare leaders and systems came together to acknowledge and begin to address the issue,” said Dr. David A. Rosman, MMS president. “During the pandemic, members of the health team demonstrated their unwavering commitment to their patients, no matter the risk. It turned out that the risk was more than COVID-19 – working to the brink of exhaustion and despair, their mental health has been pushed to and in some cases over the edge. This commitment to addressing burnout and deploying institutional improvements is a critical step in assuring that clinicians and all healthcare teams are able to deliver care to our patients through the pandemic and beyond.”
The MMS-MHA task force has outlined some its findings in its publications Changing the EHR from a Liability to an Asset to Reduce Physician Burnout
and A Crisis in Health Care: A Call to Action on Physician Burnout
. The group’s work also aligns closely with the work of MHA’s Caring for the Caregiver Task Force, which focuses on challenges relating to worker safety, wellbeing, engagement, and development and deployment of staff. A recently released Caring for the Caregiver Task Force Report, which includes information about clinician burnout, is available on MHA’s PatientCareLink