October 2021: Provider Wellness Newsletter
We invite you to read our inaugural issue of the Provider Wellness Newsletter and Baystate's continued commitment and progress in developing meaning provider well-being strategies. If you are not already receiving this directly in your email, be sure to to click Join the Mailing list in the upper right hand of the newsletter.
April 20, 2021: Psychiatry Ground Rounds- Physician Wellness
View the recording "Physician Well-being: Psychological PPE in the Age of Covid and Beyond" Presented by Carol Bernstein, MD, Vice Chair, Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Obstetrics and Gynecology and Women’s Health Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine
February 4, 2021 Surgical Grand Rounds- Physician Wellness
View the recording "The Doctor is Sick - The Decline in Physician Wellness." Presented by John Romanelli, MD, Professor of Surgery, UMMS- Baystate General SurgeryDivision Chief, Baystate Medical Center.
September 26, 2019: Progress Update
Read The BMP Voice interview with the co-chairs of the Provider Wellness Council, Dr. Beth Brady and Dr. Barry Sarvet.
June 1, 2019: Subcommittee Progress Updates
1. Modification of Post-Call Day
Pilot #1: The Pediatric Surgery Group is trialing a “No Scheduled Clinical Activity after 12:00 Noon” on the post-call day. The team shifted the clinical hours from 8:30-12:30 to 8:00-12:00, maintaining the 4 hour block so patient care was not affected. One medical assistant and one clerical staff come into work 15 minutes early to accommodate. It was decided that there was some flexibility built in so the post-call surgeon would be able to see an urgent patient if needed, staying after 12:00. The office administrator helped facilitate this and will monitor the call schedule, making every effort to adjust the post call days.
Pilot #2: The Cardiology group decided to trial modifying the post-call day by “Starting Clinical Activity at 11:00 am.” This is contingent upon the fact that patient care is not negatively impacted, so if need be, the post-call cardiologist would start earlier. The practice scheduler makes every effort to modify the post-call day, if possible. Results to date: 50% of the time, the post-call physician is involved with patient care before 11:00 am, but the group feels it is still worth doing and reports it has improved moral.
Humanism in Medicine
1. Finding Meaning in Medicine Dinners As a pilot, this subcommittee held two Finding Meaning in Medicine dinners with Council members. The benefits felt by the group were a sense of community not found elsewhere and a venue to be heard by colleagues who had similar life experiences. However, the group has also learned that finding time in the evening for fellowship is challenging and occasionally family issues prevented attendance even when originally the evening was free.
2. October 14 Wellness Committee Panel at Schwartz Rounds Council members will present progress to date and open up for discussion and feedback from audience members. We invite others to join us for this generative conversation, Monday, October 14, Noon-1pm, BMC Chestnut 1 a/b. (please note that this is Columbus Day).
3. Seeking New Committee Members The Humanism in Medicine subcommittee is seeking to broaden the membership with non-Council members who are clinicians at Baystate.
1. Teams that Deliver BOTH High Quality Care and Team Member Well-being
The first teams we will bring forward are: A BMC emergency room team, a primary care practice site (Baystate Medical Practices Quabbin Adult Medicine, Ware) and the 140 High Street geriatrics multidisciplinary outpatient team. They will be interviewed to share their strategy and operational tactics that have made their teams successful- both in terms of high quality patient care and team member well-being. Their stories will be videotaped and available for others to glean ideas from in order to generate practice-specific approaches.
2. Identification of Additional High Functioning Engaged Teams
As we move forward, ultimately, we envision featured teams to act as consultants and mentors to other teams. As such, we are seeking teams across the organization, from different disciplines, specialties and levels of care (outpatient, ED, inpatient…etc.) that demonstrate concepts and ideas that make their teams successful—professionally and personally. In the near future, we will be eliciting input from teams across the organization. Stay tuned.
Additionally, our committee will be utilizing the Press-Ganey Engagement data coupled with the Provider Resilience results to further identify areas of BMP practices that demonstrate strength in team-based care.
1. EMR Assessment
This subcommittee has made significant headway in identifying the stakeholders and establishing dialogue to identify aspects of the Baystate Healths’ EMR that contribute to provider engagement and burnout. In particular, we have partnered with the Informatics Department to closely evaluate the EMR and our members are represented on Informatics departmental committees. Our subcommittee members also participated in the Patient Keeper and Provider Collaboration meeting that included Patient Keeper senior leadership, where we provided robust feedback on the current system and suggested valuable solutions for upcoming upgrades.
2. New Survey – During Informatics System Upgrades
Currently, we are in the process of formulating a survey to evaluate the experience of practice sites and hospitals that are undergoing different informatics upgrades and transformation. The survey will be provided during or immediately after an implementation to gather real time feedback as to what is/is not working well and to collect recommendations/solutions for real-time and post-implementation improvements. Finalization of the survey is planned for early June.
April 3, 2019: Subcommittee Progress Updates
Efficiency of Practice
This subcommittee is currently working on the following projects:
- Flexibility of scheduling options
- Efficiency of billing practices
- A pilot of hiring an assistant to take on administrative duties to help with efficiency of practice in the hospitalist program.
This subcommittee is currently working on the following project:
Developing a tool to evaluate the practices undergoing EMR changes with regard to their experiences related to adequacy of upgrades, IT support, leadership and identify the constituents that were either implemented efficiently or agonizing to execute.
Humanism in Medicine
This subcommittee has held one evening dinner and discussion session.
This subcommittee is currently working on:
A variety of best practice team-based care practices and strategies in various departments and levels of care. Examples include:
This subcommittee has accomplished and continues to work on:
- Increasing awareness. Dr. Albert has presented at staff meetings, Grand Rounds, the Patient Experience Seminar, BayCare Board of Directors, PLT and the BH Board of Trustees.
- Surveying the providers for feedback and suggestions to assess the prevalence of distress at Baystate.
- Establishment of a Provider Wellness Fund within the BH Foundation.
- Opportunities to build in more flexibility to the schedule particularly; Flexibility in clinic start and end time (i.e. come in later or leave early) and Modifications to post call day rules (i.e. if on call night before, leave clinic by noon).
As a result of these conversations Schedule Flexibility Guidelines have been drafted and will be reviewed at PLT/Directors Meeting on May 2nd.
Draft Guidelines for Schedule Flexibility for Providers
The process for approving provider requests for schedule changes is as follows:
- Discuss with local practice leadership (MD and PM) to understand how the change may affect the entire team (staff, other providers) and, mostly importantly, access for patients. This will include a notice to Directors/Chiefs where appropriate.
- Financial/RVU targets must be met.
- The care and access for patients may not be compromised - the needs of patients come first.
April 1, 2019: Why Provider Wellness?
By Mike Albert, MD, Medical Director, Operating Rooms & Surgical Floors
Why focus on provider wellness? A healthy workforce is essential to our success as a health system. Despite the increasing complexity of health care, Baystate Health excels in safety, quality and value. However, this has come at the expense of our workforce, evidenced by the 2017 survey of Baystate providers that indicated the stress level of our providers is higher than their national peers.
Provider wellness impacts our ability to deliver on our strategic goals and recruit and retain the best talent. Even more importantly, our providers need to feel that they can give our best effort to our teams and patients. To do this we providers to be energized and engaged.
A Provider Wellness Advisory Council was formed, co-chaired by Barry Sarvet MD and Beth Brady MD, to review literature and national best practices, and develop a comprehensive, evidence-based plan to address burnout and enhance provider wellness.
Awareness and feedback are key
To increase awareness about provider wellness, we’ve presented at many leadership and staff meetings. (If you are interested in hosting a presentation, let me know.) We continue to reach out to providers for feedback/suggestions (and welcome yours) and have established a Wellness Fund through the Baystate Health Foundation to support related initiatives.
The council has devised a plan guided by several strategic objectives include:
- Foster a culture of wellness: Promote self-care, personal and professional growth, and compassion for ourselves, our colleagues and our patients.
- Ensure efficiency of practice through systems, processes, and practices that promote safety, quality, effectiveness, positive patient and colleague interactions, and work/life balance
- Support personal resiliency that impacts physical, emotional and professional well-being.
There has been a great deal of interest in this topic and I am hoping that many of you will choose to participate in developing approaches and solutions to improve provider wellness. Our goal is that this process is broad-based, transparent, focused, deliberate and, most importantly, successful.
Baystate Health is committed to advancing care and enhancing lives. This applies to our patients, our medical staff and our teams as we fulfill our mission to improve the health of the people in our communities every day with quality and compassion. I look forward to your participation and feedback.
Recharge Your Batteries
A deep passion and purpose to serve humanity in a career that provides the opportunity for continued growth and advancement, has it rewards and its challenges. This drive often comes with a heightened sense of personal responsibility and this level of dedication to others makes it very easy to become consumed by the work. Self-care is a critical part of maintaining and regaining health and well-being in order to be an effective and fulfilled healthcare provider. Even a saw needs sharpening.
Reconnect with Who You Are (and those around you)
Continually, find opportunities to reconnect with who you are and what it is that brings you joy.
Lean more about Finding Meaning in Medicine.
Regularly start your day recalling why you went into the field.
Recall your passion, desire and ambition that led you here. Reflect on the people whose quality of life has been improved as a result of your passion, training and expertise. Learn more about mindfulness, meditation, guided imagery, positive psychology and access to mobile tools.
Explore complimentary aspects of healing.
Learn more about the Integrative Medicine and Alternative Therapies at BH. (need hyperlink or additional information)
Attend Schwartz Rounds
Attend and gain greater insight into your feelings and responses.
Make someone else feel amazing
Take a moment to recognize a colleague. Not only will you contribute to enhancing another's well-being, you'll strengthen your social connectedness and your own well-being. Seek out opportunities to recognize your peers using Baystate Celebrates online recognition system--it's easy! And even easier when you use the app. In the app store, select Globoforce Mobile and enter your Baystate Health email address and login credentials.
Know When to Ask for Help
We all know that healthcare and caring for patients is difficult and demanding work and can leave us feeling irritable, frustrated, overwhelmed and very sad and lonely at times. Part of the challenge is that we are so immersed in our work that it becomes difficult to recognize and respond to our own, very human, mental and emotional health needs.
Another part of the challenge is our physician nature or are “personality”.
• We are committed and thorough and often find ourselves considering what else could be done or whether or not we have missed something in caring for our patients.
• As a group we tend to have an exaggerated sense of personal responsibility that makes it difficult for us to not be consumed by our work.
• We have a survival mentality and believe things will get better.
• We tend to opt to fix our own problems, which are difficult to fix when we are exhausted or have concerns about confidentiality.
In part, what makes us good at what we do, can be a double-edged sword. Unattended distress has ramifications on our quality of life and well-being. But, we do not need to just accept that feeling distress is part of the role of being a physician. We encourage you to think about attending to your own needs and to utilize the resources needed to help you stay well or begin your own healing process.
Prioritize YOUR Well-being and Worklife Needs
Visit the Baystate Healthy home page for a host of resources that support your physical, mental & emotional, and financial well-being along with resources to help you integrate your personal and work life.
The Provider Wellbeing Council meets the first Wednesday of the month from 7:30 a.m.- 9 a.m. If you are interested in observing, contact ProviderWellbeing@bhs.org
Provider Wellness Council Chairs
Sarvet MD, Barry (Chair Dept. of Psychiatry)
Jones MD, Keisha (Chief, OBGYN)
Albert MD, Michael (MDir OR & Surgical Units)
Barnett MD, Michelle (Internist- Westfield Primary Care)
Bayer MD, Alina (Neurology)
Diaz, Arley MD (Medical Staff President)
Duke MD, Wayne (Pathology)
Faulkner, Jennifer (VP Team Member Experience)
Ferraro, Erin (NP-East Longmeadow)
Grindberg, Thomas (General OBGYN)
Hoar, Harry MD (Pediatric Hospitalist)
Kellogg MD, Adam (Physicians, Emergency Services)
Kostura, Laura NP (OB/Gyn Specialty)
Kreychman MD, Alena (Radiology)
Lipoff DO, Danielle (Surgeon – Breast)
Lotfi MD, Amir (MDir WMRHA (STEMI) Program)
Moss, Jonathan (Dir Physician Billing Opers)
Paez MD,Armando (Chief, ID)
Silverman MD, Stephanie (Family Practitioner Comm Prac)
Solomon, Ellen (Urogynecology)
Sreedharala MD, Aseesh (internist CHMP)
Tashjian, MD, David (Pediatric Surgeon)-Surgery Dept
Testo, Zachary, MD (Emergency Medicine Residency Program)
Usmani MD, Saad (Internist)
VanVleet MD, Marcia (Hospitalist – Neonatal)
Vieira, Peter MD (Interim Chair, Depart of Anesthesiology)
Workman, Sarah (Internist CHMP)
Wozniak Psy.D, Jessica (Mgr Clinical Research & Dev)
Zaghloul MD, Shadi (Psychiatrist-Staff)