COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – UCHealth’s southern Colorado region and the UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora were among the 44 recipients of the 2021 Joy in Medicine Health System Recognition Program.
Candidates for the recognition were evaluated according to their efforts to reduce work-related burnout, according to the AMA. Scoring criteria was based on demonstrated competencies in commitment, assessment, leadership, efficiency of practice environment, teamwork and support.
“When we created the Physician Wellness Program in UCHealth’s southern Colorado region, we recognized that we needed to address the system-based drivers of burnout as well as promote the individual resilience of physicians,” said Dr. Robert Lam, director of physician wellness and an emergency medicine physician. “This recognition highlights that efforts are aligned with the best practices of creating an optimal working environment to promote the joy of practicing medicine.”
A national study examining the experiences of healthcare workers who worked during the COVID-19 pandemic found that 38% self-reported experiencing anxiety or depression, 43% suffered from work overload and 49% had burnout.
“We are thrilled to be alongside so many outstanding organizations as we all progress in our journey to decrease burnout and enhance the inherent Joy in Medicine that brought us all to this field,” said Dr. Elizabeth Harry, UCHealth’s senior medical director of well-being. “We are excited to continue our journey in this space with all of our care team partners as we navigate the ever-changing pressure health care faces.”
“Hospitals are filled with stressful situations and the constant need to be focused on our patients,” said Joel Yuhas, president and CEO of UCHealth Memorial. “Creating and maintaining a work environment for our employees and providers that allows each person to practice at top of scope and deliver their best is central to our ability to fulfill our mission of improving lives.”
AMA President Dr. Gerald E. Harmon also cited the extraordinary stress experienced by physicians and other health care professionals over the past 19 months. “While it is always important for health systems to focus on the well-being of care teams, the imperative is greater than ever as acute stress from combatting the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to higher rates of work overload, anxiety and depression.” he said.
Other recipients included Massachusetts General Physicians Organization, Mayo Clinic, Boston Medical Center, Michigan Medicine University of Michigan, Stanford University, UPMC, Orlando Health and University of Utah Health.