The ever-changing current state of health care has had a trickle down effect to physicians and other health care professionals. Cuts in reimbursements, staff shortages, and other changes have caused strain across entire organizations. This strain has been proven to lead to high staff turnover, burnout, and overall decreased quality of care. Focusing on physician wellness is an effort more and more practices are emphasizing. The first step in improving physician wellness is tracking wellness within your organization.
The Importance of Tracking Wellness Over Time
To really focus on physician wellness in your practice, you cannot simply set it and forget it. It’s important to track and note the changes over time. Monitoring physician well-being allows the ability to compare to national averages and identify problem areas. Finding the issues is the first step in improving the problem. The only way to do that is through continued tracking. This will give you the most accurate results.
On an individual basis, tracking wellness over time also leads to improved self-awareness. If a physician can see at which point his or her well-being has changed, they are more likely to be able to identify why it changed. Correlating well-being with actual life and professional events improves the ability to know what triggers changes in wellness.
Tracking physician wellness also allows you to determine the best strategies for your physicians and your practice. It allows organizations to gauge the effectiveness of wellness programs and determine if they’re working or not. Your strategies may not be the same as another practice right down the road.
How to Track Physician Wellness
- If you are looking to start a physician wellness program or looking to make yours better, there are some strategies you can implement to do so. Use these tips to get started:
- Take a survey of the current state in your practice. Before you can make plans for your strategy, you need to know exactly where wellness stands for your physicians.
- Include some potential tactics in your survey. If you have some ideas for potential strategies, include those in your survey so you can see how well they will go over in the practice.
Develop strategies based on needs. You do not want to waste time on any strategies that will not help fix some issues. Only implement strategies that will help your physicians in ways that they can benefit.
Physician Wellness and the Well-Being Index
The Well-Being Index is an online, self-assessment tool developed by the Mayo Clinic. They are 100% anonymous that evaluate multiple dimensions of distress (fatigue, depression, burnout, anxiety/stress, and mental/physical quality of life) among medical and other high-stress professionals.
These tools are designed to:
- Evaluate well being and give immediate feedback based upon individual responses.
- Encourage self-awareness of well being and give access to resources when individuals need them the most.
- Allow on both an individual and institution basis, the ability to track and report overall experience compared to the national average.
Learn more about the Physician Well-Being Index and how you can begin implementing a physician wellness program for your practice with a demo that allows for real-time use.