Well-Being Tools in the Workplace: One Approach to Preventing Burnout Among Health Care Professionals

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Mila Felder, MD, FACEP, discusses Advocate Aurora Health’s approach to addressing burnout among health care professionals in health care systems.

Pharmacy Times interviewed Mila Felder, MD, FACEP, enterprise vice president, Well-Being for All Teammates, Advocate Aurora Health, on how her organization addresses burnout among health care professionals before it progresses to a point where the individual has disengaged from the organization. Felder, who presented at the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) 50th Annual Meeting & Cancer Center Business Summit (AMCCBS) at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC, on the topic of “Championing an Institutional Culture of Well-being in a Post-Pandemic Oncology Workforce,” specifically addresses the tools Advocate Aurora Health uses to promote wellbeing and address burnout.

Pharmacy Times: Does Advocate Aurora Health use any specific tools (eg, questionnaires, checklists, etc) to identify and prevent burnout among your health care professionals, and how has the use of these tools helped to identify burnout before it progresses?

Mila Felder, MD, FACEP: Through an anniversary and annual survey, there are a variety of questions that measure engagement, and now we added well-being to those questions. The data comes in throughout the year because of the anniversary survey that goes out on the month of one's anniversary with the organization. So, it's almost live data coming in throughout the organization, and also a biopsy of the data that comes in once a year. At that time, it's a bigger survey that addresses components of well-being and burnout, but also safety in the workplace, also leadership support, also psychological safety, and the culture overall. Specifically looking to identify nursing and physicians and non-clinicians as far as what the needs are, those surveys all feed into our office, which is Office of Human Experience, owning patient experience, and teammate experience and a teammate well-being, and together through the use of that data, we then are able to take the catalog which we are about to complete of all of the well-being interventions, and support leadership and teammates by sharing those resources now that we know what's needed in the way that spirit supporters learn. They're able to offer [this] in a way that's non-prescriptive, but human. [For example,] “I see that you may be having a different day, how can I be here for you? Here are some tools that may be available.”

"It's a bigger survey that addresses components of well-being and burnout, but also safety in the workplace, also leadership support, also psychological safety, and the culture overall." Image Credit: © javier - stock.adobe.com

"It's a bigger survey that addresses components of well-being and burnout, but also safety in the workplace, also leadership support, also psychological safety, and the culture overall." Image Credit: © javier - stock.adobe.com

In addition to that, some of the free tools nationally available, like the Well-being Index from Mayo [Clinic] is what we have been using with our clinicians so that they could use a very specific set of short questions because we all know patients may be short and time may be short, allowing them to answer 7, 8, or 9 questions and at the end, get a perception of where they sit in terms of the spectrum of well-being or unwell-being and how they compare to their peers. Because a lot of times in health care with type A personalities, it drives the next step. At the end of that survey, there is also an offer of, “These are the options that you could use to take care of your own well-being.” So those are just some of the tools we're using.

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