AMA launches Practice Transformation Initiative to combat physician burnout

The mission of the project is to fill the knowledge gaps regarding effective interventions to reduce burnout and dissatisfaction.
By Bill Siwicki
12:30 PM
AMA launches Practice Transformation Initiative to combat physician burnout

The American Medical Association is ramping up its efforts in the fight against physician burnout with the launch of its new Practice Transformation Initiative. The project aims to advance evidence-based solutions that increase joy in medicine, say AMA officials.

WHY IT MATTERS

The causes and impact of fatigue and burnout among practicing clinicians have been well-researched, but practical solutions have seen much less rigorous analysis – and information on effective interventions remains limited.

The goal of the Practice Transformation Initiative is to fill those knowledge gaps, according to the AMA. The initiative will support research and advance evidence-based solutions by collaborating with organizations that are committed to the practice transformation journey.

Participating health systems will use validated assessment tools to measure burnout: field-testing workflows improvement tools, applying research methodology to evaluate their impact and then sharing best practices within an AMA-facilitated learning community.

Early leaders of the Practice Transformation Initiative include an initial cohort of the New Jersey Medical Society, North Carolina Medical Society and Washington State Medical Association. Each of these societies will recruit health systems and practice sites within their states to participate in the initiative.

This approach will create multiple venues for field testing and studying results – generating evidence-based research and accelerating the spread of innovations that support clinician satisfaction, said AMA officials.

Beyond building an evidence base for more effective burnout remedies, the Practice Transformation Initiative also will focus on convening experts from across the industry to build consensus and best practice for improving clinician satisfaction, according to AMA.

With AMA resources and events, healthcare organizations will get help measuring burnout and its drivers and provide practical resources that support transformation to the Quadruple Aim. Organizations can also apply to a recognition program that evaluates achievements and successes in addressing burnout.

THE LARGER TREND

The AMA’s ongoing work to reduce physician burnout is striving to attack the dysfunction in healthcare by removing the obstacles and burdens that interfere with patient care.

The association offers physicians and health systems a choice of tools, information and resources to help rekindle a joy in medicine, the AMA said, including STEPS Forward – its collection of more than 50 award-winning online tools to help physicians and medical teams make transformative changes to their practices – and Institutional assessments, where AMA assesses burnout levels within medical organizations to provide a baseline metric for implementing new approaches physician well-being.

The AMA continues to work to address the physician burnout crisis: Through its research, collaborations, advocacy and leadership, the AMA is working to make the patient-physician relationship more valued than paperwork, preventive care the focus of the future, technology an asset and not a burden, and physician burnout a thing of the past, the AMA stated.

ON THE RECORD

“While AMA efforts to date have increased awareness of the physician burnout crisis at all levels and driven positive change, there is an immediate need for transformational solutions,” AMA Board Chair Dr. Jesse M. Ehrenfeld said in a statement.

“Wide-spanning change in the healthcare delivery system needs to emphasize physician well-being as essential to achieving national health goals,” he added. “The Practice Transformation Initiative is “positioned to lead the medical community to activate systematic change that will energize physician’s in their life’s work of caring for patients.”

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
Email the writer: bill.siwicki@himssmedia.com
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