The American Medical Association’s (AMA) Joy in Medicine™ Health System Recognition Program has recognized Wellstar Health System for its commitment to improving physician well-being and reducing burnout among healthcare clinicians.
“The goal of the Joy in Medicine Health System Recognition Program is to unite the healthcare community in building a nationwide culture committed to the well-being of clinical care teams by helping health organizations invest in action plans promoting professional fulfillment and meaning that clinicians find in caring for their patients,” said Christine Sinsky, MD, AMA vice president of professional satisfaction.
Prior to 2020, burnout rates among U.S. physicians and other healthcare professionals were rising, but the prevalence spiked dramatically as the COVID-19 pandemic placed acute stress on care teams and exacerbated longstanding system issues. While the worst days of the pandemic have passed, the lingering impact of work-related burnout remains an obstacle to achieving national health goals.
In April 2022, Wellstar’s Clinician Resiliency and Well-being team developed a cross-specialty Physician Well-being Council to identify opportunities to mitigate stress drivers and support physicians and other clinicians in prioritizing their health and well-being. Employing a multi-pronged approach aligned with best practice models, Wellstar has implemented the assessment of clinician well-being annually, developed avenues to build camaraderie, and made improvements to reduce administrative burdens on the clinical workforce. July 2023 data revealed that Wellstar’s prevalence of physician distress has declined by 29% over the past two years and that overall physician well-being is 15% better than the national average during the same timeframe. Following rigorous analysis, these changes proved statistically significant on both accounts.