Report: Physician Burnout on the Rise, Healthcare Leaders Design Roadmap to Restore Joy in Medicine

SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 15, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Vocera Communications, Inc. (NYSE:VCRA) announced today that innovative solutions are within reach to reverse the climbing rates of physician burnout in America, thanks to research by a think tank of leading physicians, including the company’s Chief Medical Officer Bridget Duffy, MD. The findings are detailed in a new report: “Physician Burnout in America: A Roadmap for Restoring Joy and Purpose to Medicine,” which will be featured in an upcoming webcast on Monday, Sept. 19. Register for the complimentary webcast here.

Among the conveners of this discussion and architects of the report are Dr. Duffy; William J. Maples, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Professional Research Consultants, Inc. and Executive Director of the Institute for Healthcare Excellence; Ronald Paulus, MD, President and CEO of Mission Health; and Tom Cosgrove, Founder of QPatient Insight. These thought leaders converged at The Johnson Foundation Wingspread Center with other industry pioneers in late 2015 to design a roadmap and change the physician burnout paradigm.

“Burnout is a serious problem that negatively impacts physicians as well as patients, families and the entire care team,” Dr. Paulus said. “To identify root cause and design a roadmap for change, we explored the factors contributing to physician burnout at the macro, micro and individual levels. The report outlines a path that begins our journey to restore humanity, joy and resiliency to the practice of medicine. We have made this a top strategic priority at Mission Health.”

The report also cites some startling industry statistics, including the fact that physicians are more likely than the general population to commit suicide. Most physicians experience burnout, and 73 percent would not recommend the profession to their children. At the same time that baby boomers are becoming seniors at the rate of 10,000 per day, the physician workforce is decreasing. Some 30 percent of primary care physicians aged 35-49 expect to leave the medical field, and a shortage of 25,000 surgeons is expected by 2025.

“Physician burnout is often reported and talked about,” Dr. Maples said. “However, until now, real solutions for addressing burnout have proven to be elusive—in part because physicians themselves haven’t been involved in developing or implementing them.”

This important discussion leading to the report included rural, suburban, urban and military health system leaders, primary- and specialty-care providers, and medical education leaders. There were also frontline caregivers, hospital and health system executives, resiliency and neurology experts and healthcare technology entrepreneurs, who all gathered to develop a deeper understanding of this significant problem and collaborate on innovative ways to address it.

After the think tank collaboration, participants embarked on an intensive research effort and in-depth analysis of the findings. The resulting report focuses on the five key areas they identified to reverse physician burnout, and action steps to do so:

  • Restore human connections in healthcare with better communication
  • Redesign medical training with a curriculum focused on physician-patient relationships
  • Engage patients as partners in care and include them in innovation design
  • Optimize technology to enhance the patient, physician and care team experience
  • Reform healthcare policy and processes in ways that truly support physicians and patients

Within these five areas, the report’s authors offer 16 compelling ideas for enacting sweeping change. They include recommendations such as leveraging technology to support, rather than impede, physician-patient interaction; engaging insurance companies in reducing administrative red tape; and deploying care models that make patients a full partner in their care.

“We must address physician burnout, and we must do it now. It is essential to improving the healthcare experience for all of us – physicians, nurses, patients and families,” said Dr. Duffy, who also leads the Vocera Experience Innovation Network, an international group of thought leaders focused on discovering technologies and solutions that meet the Quadruple Aim of improving population health, elevating patient-centered care, and reducing costs while restoring joy back to the practice of medicine. “Bold leadership is needed to drive an industry-wide cultural transformation and mentor the next generation of physicians so they will embrace these values.”

Later this year, additional healthcare leaders will address nurse burnout in America, a nationwide conversation Vocera will join, and one in which the company’s Chief Nursing Officer Rhonda Collins, MSN, RN, will participate.

About Vocera
Vocera Communications, Inc. offers the most robust clinical communications system in healthcare. Installed in more than 1,300 organizations worldwide, Vocera delivers secure, integrated and intelligent communication solutions that enable care teams to collaborate more efficiently by delivering the right information, to the right person, on the right device, in the right location, at the right time. Vocera solutions provide hands-free voice communication, secure text messaging, patient engagement tools, and integrated clinical workflow with EHRs, nurse call systems and physiological monitors.  These solutions help improve operational efficiency, quality of care, safety and satisfaction across the continuum of care. In addition to technology solutions, Vocera drives thought leadership and new standards in care to elevate patient, family, nurse and physician experiences via the company’s research collaborative, the Experience Innovation Network. Vocera is led by President and CEO Brent Lang and is headquartered in San Jose, California, with offices in San Francisco, Tennessee, Canada, India, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. Robert J. Zollars is the Chairman of the Board. For more information, visit www.vocera.com and @VoceraComm on Twitter.

The Vocera logo is a trademark of Vocera Communications, Inc. Vocera® is a trademark of Vocera Communications, Inc. registered in the United States and other jurisdictions. All other trademarks appearing in this release are the property of their respective owners.

About Mission Health 
Mission Health, based in Asheville, North Carolina, is the state’s sixth-largest health system and was recognized as one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems from 2012-2015 by Truven Health Analytics, formerly Thomson Reuters, becoming the only health system in North Carolina to achieve this recognition. Mission Health operates six hospitals, numerous outpatient and surgery centers, post-acute care provider CarePartners, long-term acute care provider Asheville Specialty Hospital, and the region’s only dedicated Level II trauma center. With approximately 10,700 employees and 2,000 volunteers, Mission Health is dedicated to improving the health and wellness of the people of western North Carolina. For more information, please visit mission-health.org or @MissionHealthNC.

About the Institute for Healthcare Excellence
The Institute for Healthcare Excellence is a Professional Research Consultants, Inc. The Institute provides a collaboration of industry experts and thought leaders focused on healthcare improvement solutions to create a culture of excellence. The signature Communication in Healthcare courses provide an effective way for physicians and medical teams to gain trust and establish deep and meaningful connections with patients and their families. It also builds trust among physicians, nurses, and other members of the medical team who deliver quality care. Bridging the trust gap will pave the way to a patient-centered, team-based culture and lead to higher levels of performance, patient satisfaction and loyalty.

CONTACT: MEDIA CONTACTS:

Tara Stultz 
Amendola Communications
440.225.9595 
tstultz@acmarketingpr.com

Katie Godbout
Professional Research Consultants, Inc.
402-609-4479
@KatieAGodbout