Clinician burnout has important consequences for patients, clinicians, and health care delivery. It is tied to increased medical errors and mortality in hospitalized patients, lower quality of patient care/satisfaction and unprofessionalism, and is widely recognized as a public health crisis needing urgent interventions.

Organizational Effectiveness

At UNM, we're taking steps to help reduce burnout and promote professional fulfillment for the betterment of our patients, clinicians, and community. "Evidence has shown that while personal strategies can be effective at reducing burnout and increasing clinician well-being, systems and organizational-level factors are more effective," notes Liz Lawrence, MD, Director of UNM School of Medicine's Office of Physician and Student Wellness.

Multiple Factors

The National Academy of Medicine and our leading medical societies understand that professional wellness depends on multiple factors, including the efficiency of how our system works, the professional culture in which we work and our own personal resiliency. UNM's Health Sciences Center, in collaboration with the School of Medicine's Office of Physician and Student Wellness, UNM Medical Group's Physician Advisory Group (PAG), UNM Health System's MISSION: Excellence initiative and others, have collectively embraced this model - and we hope you do, too.

Practice Efficiency

Creating practice efficiency refers to the myriad ways in which we can improve our workflow - rather than just going faster or having to cut corners. Some recent UNM initiatives in this area, championed by PAG and fully supported by hospital leadership, are piloting the "swipe and go" login on hospital computers and creating user-friendly, 1:1 PowerChart training.

"Investments in the UNM HSC Wellness and the new UNMH physician lounge are examples of deliberately promoting a culture where we value each other's wellness and creating a climate that enables each of us to grow personally and professionally," Lawrence points out. "We are supporting our own wellness and resiliency through initiatives like UNM HSC Wellness and UNM Employee Wellness."

UNM is part of a national movement where we are coming to understand that clinician well-being cannot be detached from patient well-being and that patient experience depends on our provider experience. "Clinician well-being is about more than whether we eat right or meditate and that burnout is not a personal failing," Lawrence stresses. "Both individual and organizational strategies are urgently needed to address this epidemic of burnout. We must bring our best efforts to tackling this crisis."