The American Medical Association's STEPS Forward program offers bite-sized, simple, and affordable solutions to fix office or practice systems of operations.
The causes of burnout are not so much the external factors, such as what’s happening with Medicare or prior authorizations. Rather, it’s the often fixable things in internal operations that impact optimal patient care and quality and physician staff satisfaction. These internal glitches can erode passion and lead to burnout, according to Bruce Bagley, MD, senior adviser to the Professional Satisfaction and Practice Sustainability effort at the American Medical Association. Dr. Bagley is a known leader in performance measurement, quality improvement, and office practice redesign.
There’s evidence that internal improvement can drive satisfaction. In fact, providing physician practices with a knowledge base and resources for internal improvement is among the recommendations made by the authors of a study published in 2013 by the AMA and RAND Corp., looking at factors affecting physician satisfaction.
“The idea is that if we can get things working better internally, then your reserve to take care of the externalities will be better,” Dr. Bagley said.
Launched in 2015, the AMA’s STEPS Forward program offers bite-sized, simple, and affordable solutions to fix office or practice systems of operations.
“If I had to characterize the effort, it’s mostly about organizational development-getting systems in and decision-making and leadership in place that help us build an agile organization, which can respond to any kind of changes in the external world,” Dr. Bagley said.
To get started, visit STEPSForward.org. You’ll see 42 modules that address important practice areas, from “Improving Physician Resiliency” to a module that helps physicians use scribes to record EHR information.
To determine which modules might best benefit your practice or group, take the brief, free practice assessment. All the information and tools are free.
While AMA is still gathering data on practices’ experiences in using the STEPS Forward campaign, Dr. Bagley says physicians and practices that use the program’s modules should see improvements in office efficiency and effectiveness, which will lead to less burnout.
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