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.
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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.
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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.
When Kathleen LaRaia led the consolidation of Munson Healthcare’s 15 cancer care departments into a comprehensive community cancer center, she knew she had her work cut out for her. “The workplace and cultural environment were going to change significantly,” says LaRaia, MS, Executive Director of Oncology Services at Munson in Traverse City, Michigan. “We had to determine how to help staff members best accept the upcoming changes.”
But when planning for the transition, LaRaia didn’t fully recognize just how much foundation-laying she had to do. When she held the first of two information sessions for the 160 staff members who would be relocating to the new cancer center, she took note of employees’ perplexed expressions as they entered the room. “They didn’t recognize anyone,” says LaRaia. “I saw the siloed mindset that they had developed. They didn’t know who else was involved in taking care of their patients. I didn’t expect that.”
Bringing into one building all of the individuals involved in the many facets of oncology care at Munson required LaRaia to take into account the importance of promoting cultural resiliency when planning for large-scale institutional change. On Friday, March 22, LaRaia will share her story about the creation of Munson Healthcare’s comprehensive community cancer care center at the Clinician Resiliency and Workforce Issues Workshop, part of the ACCC 45th Annual Meeting & Cancer Center Business Summit in Washington, D.C. Here is a preview of some of the lessons learned that she will be discussing.
Three years after cutting the ribbon on Munson’s consolidated cancer center, LaRaia has collected a wealth of best practices to share. At her Deep Dive Workshop, she will address how the lessons learned at Munson can apply to other organizations facing significant cultural shifts. “There is no textbook for doing this,” says LaRaia. “You have to learn to confront issues as they arise.”
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.
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.
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