In response to alarming rates of burnout and depression, the National Academy of Medicine sent out a call for tangible commitments to combat the issue and promote clinicians’ well-being. So far, more than 130 healthcare organizations have responded.
The organization continues to call for commitment statements from organizations interested in joining its “Action Collaborative” network, which launched in 2017 as a coordinated effort to raise public awareness about the physician burnout epidemic. The network also aims to support research to clarify the challenges posed by burnout and to promote evidence-based solutions.
Industry efforts to address the factors leading to high rates of depression and suicide have also included a recent wellness initiative sponsored by the American College of Physicians. In addition to its corrosive effects on clinicians themselves, unchecked burnout threatens other important areas of the healthcare industry. Notable consequences include loss of access to care caused by reduced physician hours, as well as the economic toll high staff turnover causes for healthcare organizations.
In a statement, National Academy of Medicine President Victor J. Dzau emphasized the importance of pooling as many resources as possible to address the challenges widespread burnout poses to providers, patients and healthcare organizations themselves.
“No single organization can address all of the issues, and there is a need to coordinate and synthesize the many ongoing efforts and generate collective action,” he said.
Organizations that join the National Academy of Medicine’s Action Collaborative network agree to become active partners in promoting, developing and promulgating a “visible commitment” to promoting well-being. Network organizations do this in part through the publication of written statements that address their plans to combat burnout, and also through the provision of periodic updates about their efforts and active participation in network events.