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Oncology Team Well-Being

Mini-Z Survey Results

Results from Mini Z Burnout Survey

To gauge the level of burnout in the multidisciplinary cancer care team, ACCC recently surveyed its membership using the clinically validated Mini Z survey developed by the American Medical Association. While only a small number of respondents (14.9%) report dissatisfaction with their current job, burnout and stress levels are significant.
Download Survey Infographic

Cancer Buzz Podcast

Other ACCC Resources

ACCC Institute for the Future of Oncology

The sixth annual ACCC Institute held in Washington, D.C., on June 27, 2018, convened more than 30 experts in cancer care, wellness, and resiliency to share insights on what is fueling burnout among members of the cancer care team and what needs to happen on both on both a micro and macro level to support and improve team well-being. The day-long forum discussion focused on ACCC President Tom Gallo’s 2018-2019 presidential theme: Reflect, Renew, Reignite: Creating a Resilient Oncology Team in Your Community.
Read the Executive Summary


Breaking Down Silos: Revenue Cycle Tiers Increase Efficiency and Reduce Waste
By Pamela R. Proman, MBA, RTT; William D. James, MHA; and Nancy H. Johnson, MSM

After a review of key performance indicators, including charge lag, month-end close, patient registration, and insurance identification and verification, this cancer program leveraged its EHR and billing data to identify actionable areas for improvement. Four primary impacts of silo mentality were identified: resource waste, incorrect denials, reduced cash flow, and increased risk for financial toxicity. Performance improvements were prioritized using a matrix to grade urgency and importance.
Read Article


Journey to the “Big E”

Amanda Patton, ACCC Communications
October 24, 2018

Re-structuring care delivery to be more patient centered is among the many demands the U.S. healthcare system is striving to meet. The imperative to center care around engaged patients is recognized by regulators, health systems, hospitals, professional societies, providers, payers, and patients and families—and it is a central component of value-based care.

Of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Triple Aim domains to achieve optimal health system performance, the first is: Improve the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction).

At last week’s 35th ACCC National Oncology Conference in Phoenix, featured speaker Julie Oehlert, DNP, RN, took issue with patient “satisfaction” as a metric for the patient experience. Healthcare “has gone down the customer satisfaction route as a measure of quality,” she said, “. . . can patients [ever] be ‘satisfied’ with a diagnosis of cancer?” Even though many healthcare organizations have moved from “patient satisfaction” to the concept of patient experience, “We didn’t move our strategies or tactics to measure this. We used the same old customer service tools.”

To move the needle on patient experience, she believes we must start by recognizing that “healthcare is a relationship between those who provide care and those who seek care.”  

Recalling an article by Thomas Bodenheimer, MD, and Christine Sinsky, MD, (Annals of Family Medicine, 2014) that makes the case for moving from the Triple Aim to the Quadruple Aim, with the addition of “improving the work life of health care clinicians and staff,” Oehlert concurs. “You won’t hit the IHI Triple Aim unless you add the Quadruple Aim of improving health and well-being of staff.”  

Today, the issues of burnout and the well-being of clinicians and healthcare team members are a national concern. In 2017 the National Academy of Medicine established its Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience. The Collaborative's website outlines multiple factors contributing to the problems of burnout and stress, acknowledging that  “Organizational leadership, culture, and policies can play a significant role in burnout and well-being.”

Pop-up polling 2Yet in a pop-up poll during Dr. Oehlert’s presentation, 93% of conference attendees said that their cancer program or practice did not measure staff or clinician burnout.

This scenario is something Dr. Oehlert hopes to see turn around. At Vidant Health, the “journey to promote a caring and compassionate culture,” is already underway. At the health system, she is responsible not only for the patients’ experience but also for the team members’ experience. The focus is on the “BIG E—Everyone’s Experience Matters,” she said. “How we [the healthcare team] experience each other begets the patient experience.”


ACCC President Tom Gallo’s presidential theme is “Reflect, Renew, Reignite: Building a Resilient Oncology Team in Your Community.” How is your cancer program addressing team well-being and fostering resilience? If your cancer program has a wellness initiative underway, contact us. Be sure to visit the NAM Action Collaborative Knowledge Hub for resources and tools.

From Oncology Issues

  • Improving Cancer Care by Addressing Food Insecurity
    Tracey F. Weisberg, MD
    Our results indicated that food insecure patients tended to complete fewer months of treatment than their food secure counterparts. Food insecure patients who refused assistance had the lowest number of months of completed treatment; most food insecure patients who received assistance completed more of their treatment.
  • Go Viral with Compassion and Kindness
    Jennie R. Crews, MD, MMM, FACP, AND Krista Nelson, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C, BCD
    What can those experiencing cancer and its overwhelming unpredictability teach us about dealing with COVID-19?
  •  How to Combat a Virus
    Jennie Crews, MD, MMM, FACP
  •  Can You Hear Me Now?
    Kimberly Smith, MPHA
    After integrating voice recognition software with its EMR, Mount Sinai Health System reduced physician workload, improved patient care, and streamlined clinic workflow. Physicians and staff shared that this process improvement initiative also improved their well-being, freeing clinicians up to spend more time doing what they want to do—caring for patients.
  •  Caring for the Caregiver
    April Alexander, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C, et al.
    A holistic Self-Care and Resiliency Program for Oncology Professionals has helped to decrease oncology staff burnout rates. Key components include Patient Remembrance Ceremonies, staff support groups, educational opportunities, and social events.
  •  Breaking Down Silos
    Pamela R. Proman, MBA, RTT, et al.
    Using its EHR and billing data to examine key metrics—including charge lag, patient registration, and insurance verification—the Nancy N. and J. C. Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion at St. Joseph’s/Candler identified four key effects of the “silo mentality” on its cancer program. Focusing on efficiency and urgency, the program broke down its silos, reducing waste and incorrect denials, improving cash flow, and alleviating patient—and program—financial toxicity.
  •  Utilizing Scribes to Improve Patient-Centered Care and Efficiency and Reduce Burnout
    By Amy Hindman
    More oncology programs across the country are hiring scribes in their practices to improve patient-centered care, reduce physician burnout, and create administrative efficiencies.
  •  Caring for the Caregiver
    By ACCC Editorial Staff
    Dr. Farley directs Christiana Care Health System’s strategy to promote the professional fulfillment and personal well-being of its caregivers—and, subsequently, its patients.
  •  Burnout Prevention & Education
    By Monique Dawkins, EDD, MPA, et al.
    Being aware of how burnout manifests itself can help supervisors and staff identify the condition early.
  • Small in Stature, Large in Impact
    By ACCC Editorial Staff
    Caring for patients with cancer is inherently stressful, but many cancer team members say that their difficulties go beyond the expected emotional strain. Robin Hearne, RN, MS, director of Cancer Services and Chronic Disease Care at The Outer Banks Hospital, elaborates on the burdens of bureaucracy and shares the programs she’s developed to provide staff with necessary tools for patient and self-care.

Burnout is on the rise as oncology becomes increasingly complex with new treatment options, growing financial toxicity, an aging patient population, and an increasingly burdensome healthcare system. It has received much media attention, with some calling it an epidemic.

Thomas A. Gallo, MS, MDA, ACCC President, selected his 2018–2019 president’s theme: Reflect, Renew, Reignite: Creating a Resilient Oncology Team in Your Community, in order to shed light on the pain points that frustrate physicians, nurses, social workers, administrators, pharmacists, and all of the other professionals who collaborate to provide the highest level of patient care.

The ACCC 35th National Oncology Conference, October 17 – 19, in Phoenix, AZ, featured stories and strategies for fostering resilience and a healthcare culture that mitigates burnout among all members of the cancer care team. Three featured speakers inspired while providing practical strategies to help increase engagement, transform your work culture, and embrace experimentation. 

6 essential standards for a healthy work environment

ACCC is committed to identifying shared strategies and solutions to help combat the burnout and frustration that many of its members experience. This Building a Resilient Oncology Team: Issues and Solutions infographic details key findings on clinician burnout and a bevy of solutions to help you mitigate stress and bring the joy back to your workplace. 
Download as PDF
Or click each thumbnail below to view full size version:

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