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Listening campaigns: engaging clinicians to assess system factors contributing to burnout


Background Even prior to the pandemic, many US physicians experienced burnout affecting patient care quality, safety and experience. Institutions often focus on personal resilience instead of system-level issues. Our leaders developed a novel process to identify and prioritise key system-related solutions and work to mitigate factors that negatively impact clinician well-being through a structured listening campaign.

Methods The listening campaign consists of meeting with each clinician group leader, a group listening session, a follow-up meeting with the leader, a final report and a follow-up session. During the listening session, clinicians engage in open discussion about what is going well, complete individual reflection worksheets and identify one ‘wish’ to improve their professional satisfaction. Participants rate these wishes to assist with prioritisation.

Results As of January 2020, over 200 clinicians participated in 20 listening sessions. One hundred and twenty-two participants completed a survey; 80% stated they benefited from participation and 83% would recommend it to others.

Conclusion Collecting feedback from clinicians on their experience provides guidance for leaders in prioritising initiatives and opportunities to connect clinicians to organisational resources. A listening campaign is a tool recommended for healthcare systems to elicit clinician perspectives and communicate efforts to address systemic factors.

  • health system
  • improvement
  • communication
  • clinical leadership

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