Our attendance at two major annual healthcare conferences—AONE Inspiring Leaders conference and The Beryl Institute’s Patient Experience Conference—impressed us both for the energy and passion exhibited by the thousands of participants, and the enormous pressure that the healthcare industry, and its many players, is under today.
A Focus on the Fourth Aim
Don Berwick introduced the concept of the Triple Aim in healthcare some years ago: improving the health of populations, enhancing the patient experience of care and reducing the per capita cost of healthcare. It wasn’t long, though, until an important realization occurred: achieving the Triple Aim would not be possible without the energetic, passionate engagement of providers, specifically physicians. This prompted a revision of the Triple Aim to add another component—improving the experience of providing care—in direct recognition of the need to have healthcare providers and clinicians actively and passionately engaged in the care delivery process.
Not such an easy task. Burnout is rife among healthcare providers—and, particularly, among providers in VA Health Care Systems (VAHCS). Always a challenging profession fraught with stressors unseen in many other types of work, today’s clinicians are suffering under additional burdens related to a combination of ongoing scrutiny of high-profile system failures, regulatory requirements, a changing competitive landscape, increasing demands to use ever-newer and ever-changing forms of technology to get their work done, added administrative duties, growing patient numbers and demands, declining reimbursement and a highly uncertain environment.
No wonder then, that amid the excitement at these two recent conferences, was a sense of nostalgia for the “good old days,” particularly among long-term players in the healthcare industry. Change, after change, after new and more demanding change, inevitably leads to burnout.
Studies show that clinicians are suffering higher levels of burnout than ever before. Medscape’s National Physician Burnout & Depression Report 2018 indicates that, among physician respondents, 42 percent reported burnout—15 percent indicated that they had experienced some form of depression (compared to 6.7 percent of adults in general). They’re not alone. Other clinicians are feeling the pinch as well.
The TruthPoint Impact
While we don’t claim to have the answers to what is a pervasive and multifaced issue, we do believe we can make an impact, and we have. Our solutions are robust and powered by people—yours and ours—who leverage our technology solutions, along with decades of experience in system performance, to make real changes. There are at least two ways that our solutions can positively impact burnout among VA healthcare providers:
- Automating and improving the collection of patient and family feedback in real time.
- Using that feedback to generate “kudos reports”
By understanding what patients and families are really telling you, and gathering and sharing that input in real time, you can begin to battle some of the key issues that are leading to burnout. Doing that can help your clinicians reclaim the passion that brought them to the healthcare profession in the first place, and renew our joint mission for improving the Veteran patient experience. It’s a passion worth rekindling.