Baptist Health creates program to meet doctors’ stress
With an increase of patient loads and long hours being contributing factors to mental and physical health issues among healthcare workers, Baptist Health South Florida has launched a new initiative to prioritize and address those issues.
Responding to the high number of clinician stress and burnout among healthcare providers due to the pandemic, Baptist Health has named Dr. Ana Viamonte Ros its first chief well-being officer, leading an initiative to make mental health wellness and overall well-being a priority for its physicians, clinicians and employees facing the stress, anxiety, exhaustion and depression common in the healthcare industry today.
“We will base our program on best practices and evidence-based care models that will equip physicians and employees with the tools they need to live healthy, happy lives,” said Adriene McCoy, senior vice president and chief human resources officer at Baptist Health.
Even before Covid-19, studies showed that 50% of physicians reported symptoms of burnout, and a New England Journal of Medicine Catalyst Insights publication stated that 70% of clinical leaders and executives surveyed recently believe the problem will worsen in the next two to three years, according to Baptist Health.
“Clinician burnout is a long-standing problem, and we have an opportunity to improve the health and wellness of our caregivers and staff, which allows them to continue to provide the highest quality care to our patients,” said Dr. Ros, who is also the medical director of Palliative Care and Bioethics Services at Baptist.
Services being offered include well-being education and coping mechanisms, enhancing access to confidential resources and support, and fostering a community culture that eliminates any stigma that can occur when people reach out for help. It will also mean reviewing the healthcare infrastructure and making changes in the way people work, she said.
“This will be a comprehensive program,” said Dr. Ros, who received her medical degree from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and a master’s in public health from the Harvard School of Public Health. “It will not only look to minimize the source of stressors but will emphasize recognizing the signs of distress instead of waiting for someone to ask for assistance. It’s about optimizing total well-being.”