Fostering productivity and satisfaction with a simple question: "How are you doing?"

Cigna Healthcare has sponsored and provided editorial input on this article. 

As technologies, like AI, and process improvements promise to increase productivity, healthcare organizations need to focus on clinician well-being. This means prioritizing programs and initiatives to support mental health and emphasizing human connections.

This was a major theme in a roundtable discussion at Becker's 14th Annual Meeting, led by Allison Hofmann, National Vice President, Health System Division at Cigna Healthcare. The roundtable featured the following panelists:

  • Lindsay Fazio, PhD, Endeavor Health
  • Susan Harriger, RN, MSW, LSW, CCM, CareAllies
  • Ami Shah, MD, FACS, Rush University System for Health (Chicago)
  • Marie Wadas, MD, MBA, CPE, Endeavor Health

These panelists discussed various mental health and wellness initiatives, including programs that improve the work environment and that address social determinants of health (SDOH). 

Five key takeaways were:

1. Providing resources and support tailored to physicians' unique needs is important to engage physicians. "Physicians may not seek help because they are worried about the stigma," Dr. Wadas said. "We provide resources that are not only internal but also external. We have peer support groups and offer coaching and other initiatives that promote life-work balance.

2. Creating a culture of trust and respect is essential to support clinicians' well-being. Health systems can have resources available for clinicians. "But unless there's trust and respect, people aren't going to use the resources," Dr. Fazio said.

3. Programs are showing positive results. According to Dr. Fazio, Endeavor Health has two programs that have had a positive impact. "We have a dedicated FTE at each hospital called a Wellbeing Support Advisor," she said. "These mental health clinicians are dedicated to supporting our physicians and staff, helping them through discord . . . Then, our RISE team, which stands for Resilience in Stressful Events, a team of 87 physicians, nurses and operations leaders who are certified in critical incident response. They volunteer to support hundreds of team members in times of crisis."

Dr. Fazio stressed the importance of normalizing and de-stigmatizing mental health. "We need to continue to lead by example and be brave and daring," she said. "This is an organization where you can be vulnerable and seek the help you need."

4. Addressing SDOH can reduce provider stress and burnout. Ms. Harriger explained that CareAllies addresses barriers that prevent patients from getting the care they need. "We take those SDOHs off the plate of the clinical team," she explained. "We resolve issues like transportation, language barriers and payment fears to get patients in to see their physician."

5. Common language can improve communication and reduce friction. "We're trying to work on a shared set of values and language for us to be able to effectively communicate with each other," Dr. Shah said. "Are we all speaking the same language so we can understand each other's stories, where the person is coming from and what he or she needs?"

By addressing SDOH, human connection and shared language, health systems can do a better job of supporting the mental health and wellness of their providers.

All Cigna Healthcare products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of The Cigna Group. © 2024 Cigna Healthcare

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars