A Structured Approach


By Susan Emerson

Physician burnout has reached crisis level, and has serious implications for quality, safety, and patient experience, now and in the future. By addressing the underlying causes of burnout, health systems can improve physician wellbeing, which will translate into better patient care.

At HCA HealthONE The Medical Center of Aurora (TMCA), Aurora, CO, a structured Physician Wellbeing program has had a significant impact on physician satisfaction and retention, as well as quality, safety, and patient experience.

"In our 2012 Physician Satisfaction Survey, we were at 62 percent excellent as a Place to Practice, which put us in the 50th percentile nationally," says Dianne McCallister, MD, Chief Medical Officer, TMCA. "When I arrived in 2013, my CEO and I started systematically implementing our Physician Wellbeing program. In one year, we moved our score to 79.7 percent excellent. We saw double-digit increases in every question across our survey."

Hospital-acquired infections declined as well, and physician turnover decreased by 5 percent. "For first-year physicians, we cut turnover in half," adds McCallister.