Systems Approaches to Improve Patient Care by Supporting Clinician Well-Being

Type: Consensus Study
Topics: Health Care Workforce, Health Services, Coverage, and Access, Quality and Patient Safety
Boards: Board on Health Care Services, DBASSE-Board on Human Systems Integration, NAM President's Office

Activity Description

An ad hoc committee under the auspices of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will examine the scientific evidence regarding the causes of clinician burnout as well as the consequences for both clinicians and patients, and interventions to support clinician well-being and resilience. The committee will examine components of the clinical training and work environment that can contribute to clinician burnout in a variety of care settings, as well as potential systems interventions to mitigate those outcomes. The committee will identify promising tools and approaches to support clinician well-being, identify gaps in the evidence base, and propose a research agenda to address areas of uncertainty. In developing its report, the committee will consider key components of the health care system, including:

  • factors that influence clinical workflow, workload, and human-systems interactions;
  • the training, composition, and function of interdisciplinary care teams;
  • the ongoing movement toward outcomes-based payment and quality improvement programs;
  • current and potential use and impact of technologies and tools such as electronic health records (EHRs) and other informatics applications; and
  • regulations, guidance, policies, and accreditation standards that define clinical documentation and coding requirements, as well as institutional expectations and interpretations of those requirements.

The committee may develop a conceptual framework that encapsulates their findings and will issue a report with recommendations for system changes to streamline processes and manage complexity, minimize the burden of documentation requirements, and enhance workflow and teamwork to support the well-being of all clinicians and trainees on the care team, prevent clinician burnout, and facilitate high-quality patient care.


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