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Battling burnout? Here are some online tools that help

Part B News has been following trends in addressing physician burnout, most recently in our story about holistic anti-burnout remedies for practice staff. We got further advice in an interview with Robert Morton, assistant vice president of patient safety with The Doctors Company, part of the TDC Group of companies, in Napa, Calif. (Note: The sources Morton cites are not affiliated with The Doctors Company.)
What did you think of the JAMA paper, "Rethinking Wellness in Health Care Amid Rising COVID-19–Associated Emotional Distress,” that we talked about in our story?
Couldn’t agree with it more. The well-being of the entire health care workforce should be a strategic priority for health care organizations of all sizes. If you are in a position to address this, start by asking your health care workers what matters most. But be prepared to lead and to be led and commit the resources that a long-term, collaborative cultural change effort deserves as a strategic priority, not just a project.
The topic of provider burnout has been hot for years, but COVID is thought to have added another dimension, both in terms of workflow and emotionally. Has that been your experience?
As patient safety risk managers at The Doctors Company, we continue to receive calls from members feeling the burdens of the COVID-19 pandemic on their practices, some to the point of retiring, others in tears. We lend a supportive and empathetic ear. For qualified mental health support, we encourage them to access a free and confidential, no appointment necessary at the Physician Support Line.
Other health care workers need equivalent support. We have also shared that assistance for health care workers through free, anonymous, professional support can be found at
What other useful tools can you suggest to make sure the burnout issues of everyone in the clinical setting are being addressed?
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) published a Conversation and Action Guide to Support Staff Well-being and Joy in Work During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic. This tool includes actionable ideas that leaders can test in their coronavirus response.
It is a great “how to” response to the JAMA piece "Understanding and Addressing Sources of Anxiety Among Health Care Professionals During the COVID-19 Pandemic" that leaders in any health care setting can immediately put into practice. It starts with asking the right questions and listening. Ask the people on the frontlines, “What’s not working?” and “What do you need?” They’ll tell you.
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