The COVID-19 pandemic has added urgency to clinician well-being programs across the country. Our caregivers need support now more than ever. The pandemic has also shed light on the many different ways organizations are supporting their teams – there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.

A recent Management of Healthcare journal article by AHA, AdventHealth and the Coalition for Physician Well-Being highlights findings from a pre-COVID-19 survey of 500 top-level executives to better understand what organizations are doing around physician well-being. This snapshot helps leaders consider how to best build on existing efforts or how to best further initial work. 

The good news: there is strong awareness of the need for organization-level interventions, and many hospitals and health systems see well-being programs as an effective way to face issues of turnover and a necessary tool to combat physician suicide.

Six out of 10 leaders in health care are tackling system-level changes to address culture and ensure well-being is fully integrated across settings and roles, and six out of ten report having formal assessments in place. More than half have physician wellness programs; and two out of three respondents report that a physician leads those efforts. While fewer organizations have dedicated funding for these programs, a growing number (35%) have dedicated C-suite time to the issue.

The sustained toll of the COVID pandemic paired with long-standing workforce shortages means wellness programs can no longer wait. AHA helps clinicians develop new strategies to offset professional demands through Leadership Experience events, with the next conference happening in October. Additionally, AHA’s Well-Being Playbooks provide resources for leaders that help them create programs or build upon existing efforts as well as resources from the American Organization for Nursing Leadership.

Elisa Arespacochaga is AHA’s vice president of clinical affairs and workforce

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