Meeting the Imperative to Improve Physician Well-being: Assessment of an Innovative Program
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Improving physician health and performance is critical to successfully meet the challenges facing health systems that increasingly emphasize productivity. Assessing long-term efficacy and sustainability of programs aimed at enhancing physician and organizational well-being is imperative.
To determine whether data-guided interventions and a systematic improvement process to enhance physician work-life balance and organizational efficacy can improve physician and organizational well-being.
DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS
From 2000 to 2005, 22–32 physicians regularly completed 3 questionnaires coded for privacy. Results were anonymously reported to physicians and the organization. Data-guided interventions to enhance physician and organizational well-being were built on physician control over the work environment, order in the clinical setting, and clinical meaning.
Questionnaires included an ACP/ASIM survey on physician satisfaction, the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), and the Quality Work Competence (QWC) survey.
Emotional and work-related exhaustion decreased significantly over the study period (MBI, p = 0.002; QWC, p = 0.035). QWC measures of organizational health significantly improved initially and remained acceptable and stable during the rest of the study.
A data-guided program on physician well-being, using validated instruments and process improvement methods, enhanced physician and organizational well-being. Given the increases in physician burnout, organizations are encouraged to urgently create individual and systems approaches to lessen burnout risk.
KEY WORDSphysician satisfaction organizational behavior health care administration
We thank Jennifer Basada for her dedication to the overall coordination and management of the Legacy Clinic Physician Well-Being Program. We also thank Charlene Tucker for her help in manuscript preparation. Finally, we thank Jonathan Avery for his guidance in developing the program; Malcolm McAninch, John Teller, Gwen Grewe, and Marylee Morris for the implementation; and Keith Marton and Stephen R. Jones for critically reviewing the manuscript and for encouraging a nurturing environment to enhance physician health and well-being.
Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest
QWC is a commercial product marketed and sold by the Sweden-based company Springlife AB, Bengt B. Arnetz is a majority owner of this company.
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