Preventing Clinician Burnout in Central New York
Special Projects Fund
March 13, 2020
Clinician burnout is an occupational hazard characterized by emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and reduced professional efficacy.
Research has found that burnout can result in decreased access to care for patients and increased health care costs as a result of lost productivity and recruitment. Clinicians are often reluctant to admit distress, and difficulty in acknowledging this perceived weakness in front of nonphysicians makes traditional group support programs inadequate for clinicians. In 2020, NYHealth awarded Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital (Bassett Medical Center) a grant to establish a multi-institutional peer support network in Central New York to combat distress and burnout among clinicians.
Under this grant, Bassett Medical Center will partner with health systems from across Central New York to establish a peer support network for thousands of physicians, residents, advanced practice clinicians, nurses, and social workers. The project will promote organizational culture change that emphasizes and embraces workforce resilience, recognizes clinician distress, and combats the stigmas surrounding help-seeking. To create the network, peer supporters will be identified at each institution and trained at a central location, with follow-up meetings to debrief and reinforce skills. Additionally, Bassett Medical Center will implement a peer support dashboard and conduct surveys to evaluate patient and provider satisfaction and improve program curriculum. This pilot will be the first regional clinician peer support network in the United States and will serve as a model for statewide expansion.