Don’t Blame Staff for Burnout — It’s a Systems Issue

Institute for Healthcare Improvement, by Stephanie Garry Garfunkel, Oct. 18, 2016

"Dr. Thomas Lee’s daughter is a first-year resident, following in her father’s footsteps at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

For now, she’s loving it. But will she feel that way when she’s her father’s age? Lee, now the Chief Medical Officer at Press Ganey, isn’t counting on it.

Clinicians are feeling burned out: a loss of autonomy, a sense of failure in communication and coordination, and hopelessness about the direction of care, Lee said. Even senior leaders can feel overwhelmed by the complexity and bureaucracy. Lee spoke to about 100 health care leaders at a recent meeting of the Leadership Alliance, a dynamic collaboration of health care executives working to deliver on the full promise of the IHI Triple Aim. He shared a framework for thinking about burnout, and recommended two books to help leaders improve employee morale, or joy in work."