The Triple Aim—enhancing patient experience, improving population health, and reducing costs—is widely accepted as a guide to optimize health system performance. At the same time, physicians, nurses, and other healthcare workers report widespread burnout and dissatisfaction. Burnout is associated with lower patient satisfaction, reduced health outcomes, and increase costs, endangering the Triple Aim goals. There is much discussion now recommending the Triple Aim guide be expanded to a Quadruple Aim guide, adding the goal of improving the work life and wellbeing of health care providers.
Often, the stressful work life of clinicians impacts their ability to achieve the three aims. Until we care for the caregivers, the Triple Aim objectives cannot be achieved. With the rising demands and expectations on physicians and nurses and the increased societal expectations, 46% of U.S. physicians and 36% of nurses experience symptoms of burnout, characterized by loss of enthusiasm for work, feelings of cynicism, low sense of personal accomplishment, lack of joy, early retirement, alcohol use, and suicidal ideation.
Ironically, organizations working toward the Triple Aim may actually increase clinician burnout and thereby reduce their chances of success.
Health care organizations can work toward the fourth aim, improving the work life and wellbeing of clinicians and staff, by investing in programs to care for their caregivers.
To learn how to improve the work environment and wellbeing of your caretakers and nurses, learn about the SelfCare for HealthCare™ program! We address issues, including nurse burnout, retention, and recruitment problems.