The Doctors Company’s Commitment to Addressing Clinician Burnout
Growing administrative demands and distractions in our complex healthcare system conflict with how clinicians want to provide care—contributing to alarming rates of burnout and potentially leading to more adverse events and compromising patient safety. In our Future of Healthcare Survey of over 3,400 physicians nationwide, 7 out of 10 doctors were unwilling to recommend healthcare as a profession to their children or other family members.
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The Doctors Company has always been guided by our mission: to advance, protect, and reward the practice of good medicine.
Although reports of clinician burnout are at an all-time high, we support and believe in the noble healthcare professions for the life-sustaining services they provide. The Doctors Company Foundation provided generous funding support for the 2019 National Academy of Medicine consensus study, Taking Action Against Clinician Burnout: A Systems Approach to Professional Well-Being. The clinician job demands documented in the report included excessive workload, unmanageable work schedules, inadequate staffing, administrative burden, interruptions and distractions, inadequate technology support, time pressures, and moral distress. And that was before the pandemic.
Exacerbating many of these demands, the pandemic also brought deeper health inequities, widespread health misinformation and disinformation, and the politicization of healthcare and science, all combining to threaten the clinician-patient relationship.
That’s why we are dedicated to helping healthcare professionals anticipate issues in advance and to being a strong, proactive partner for those delivering care.
We recognize how the persistent administrative demands and inefficiencies rooted in our complex healthcare system conflict with how physicians and advanced practice clinicians want to provide care. This conflict contributes not only to alarming rates of clinician stress and burnout, but to more medical errors, the potential for patient harm, and higher rates of malpractice.
We are committed to reversing the trends associated with clinician stress by sharing information and tools that address some of the known causes of stress and burnout. This includes publishing data-driven claims studies to provide insight into allegations and contributing factors underlying lawsuits and, most importantly, the strategies that can prevent harm to patients and mitigate risks of litigation. We also recognize that physicians may be sued or have a report filed with their medical board. Accordingly, we provide best-in-class service and education to help our members understand the legal process and cope with the stress that lawsuits impose on practices, personal lives, and close relationships.
Digital health innovation, industry consolidation, new technology, and regulation are some of the factors that change the way healthcare professionals deliver care. The Doctors Company will continue to work with our members, advisory groups, and other experts to develop resources to help members manage these changes—by building healthier work environments with highly functional clinical teams, efficient processes, and effective communication. Our efforts will continue to support physicians, nurses, and other clinicians so they can provide care that aligns with their professional ethic and caregiving mission.
We believe we should serve the healthcare professions by partnering with those who provide care—so that clinicians can focus on making decisions based on the best outcomes for patients, rather than on threats of litigation, invasive regulation, or financial loss. An unwavering commitment to clinician well-being is essential to optimizing quality of care and patient safety.
The guidelines suggested here are not rules, do not constitute legal advice, and do not ensure a successful outcome. The ultimate decision regarding the appropriateness of any treatment must be made by each healthcare provider considering the circumstances of the individual situation and in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction in which the care is rendered.