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  • Washington Highlights

    National Academy of Medicine Report Calls for Immediate Action to Address Clinician Burnout

    Alexander Ommaya, Senior Director, Clinical and Translational Research and Policy
    Anne Berry, Lead Specialist, Implementation Research & Policy

    The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Oct.23 released the consensus study report by the Committee on Systems Approaches to Improve Patient Care by Supporting Clinician Well-Being.

    The report presents findings from the study, which examined the factors contributing to clinician burnout, related consequences, and potential interventions. It calls for health care organizations and health professions educational institutions, along with health care policy, regulatory, and standards-setting entities, to take immediate action to improve clinical work and learning environments. It states, “The magnitude of the burnout problem and the growing consequences for clinicians, patients, and the performance of the U.S. health care system should compel health care leaders to make an immediate and widespread commitment to major systemic changes to improve the clinical work and learning environments.”

    The report has identified the following six goals, each with corresponding recommendations:

    1. Create Positive Work Environments: Transform health care work systems by creating positive work environments that prevent and reduce burnout, foster professional well-being, and support quality care.
    2. Create Positive Learning Environments: Transform health professions education and training to optimize learning environments that prevent and reduce burnout and foster professional well-being.
    3. Reduce Administrative Burden: Prevent and reduce the negative consequences on clinicians’ professional well-being that result from laws, regulations, policies, and standards promulgated by health care policy, regulatory, and standards-setting entities, including government agencies (federal, state, and local), professional organizations, and accreditors.
    4. Enable Technology Solutions: Optimize the use of health information technologies to support clinicians in providing high-quality patient care.
    5. Provide Support to Clinicians and Learners: Reduce the stigma and eliminate the barriers associated with obtaining the support and services needed to prevent and alleviate burnout symptoms, facilitate recovery from burnout, and foster professional well-being among learners and practicing clinicians.
    6. Invest in Research: Provide dedicated funding for research on clinician professional well-being.

    The AAMC was one of the sponsors of this study and an inaugural sponsor of the NAM Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience.