Why are doctors so unhappy?


By and large, front line clinicians, whether it's doctors, pharmacists, nurses, or mid levels are in health care because their heart is in the right place, and I'm a firm believer in that.

The most motivating is if you can connect the changes to the patient, and again it goes back to people who go to health care, are by and large a group that will take a lot if they feel that they're making a difference in the patient who is in front of them.

The most demotivating are the opposite when it's things that feel like a distraction, and keep you from delivering that care. An example of that is any time you put in new electronic health record, the inefficiency is baked into that, create a gap between you and the patient in front of you that feels distancing rather than recognizing that in the long run it will help us deliver better care.

Do I think that there's a connection between the heart of the patient's safety, and the heart of the patient experience, and provider satisfaction? I absolutely do, I mean providers are human beings, and so the more taxed and stress they are, the more mistake-prone they're likely to be, the more likely it is that they'll overlook things that they otherwise would catch. And the more likely it is that they're not going to have the smiling face, and really be patient centered in their approach.

I think the number one thing that we've done here is work to create alignment so that we really are working as one system. One of the outputs of that is our annual operational strategy which is another way to think about it, it's our annual quality plan. By the process of that trying to get everyone to have input, from nurses to pharmacists to physicians that the output of that we all will agree to work on at any given year is sort of a shared sense of purpose. And an ability for everyone to sort of understand these external demands, and have a voice in how we set our priorities.

Health care is not going to be transformed with a single best initiative, but rather everyone doing work in a different way. And so seeing the number of nurses, the number of front line providers meaningfully engaged and improve at work, and that's lead to safer care for patients, reduce hospital acquired infections, it's reduced more cost effective care with reduction, and unnecessary testing.

It's really the sum total that has me most excited, not any one of those initiatives on their own.