Banner Health Chief Clinical Officer: 'I Am Thankful for Our Healthcare Heroes' - freetxp

Banner Health Chief Clinical Officer: ‘I Am Thankful for Our Healthcare Heroes’

The health system has several programs specifically designed to address healthcare worker well-being.

Phoenix-based Banner Health has a multifaceted approach to addressing healthcare worker well-being.

Healthcare worker burnout was a top concern for health systems, hospitals, and physician practices before the coronavirus pandemic, and it has reached crisis proportions during the public health emergency. Prior to the pandemic, burnout rates averaged in the range of 30% to 50%; Now, average burnout rates range from 40% to 70%, a healthcare worker well-being expert recently told HealthLeaders.

The pandemic is straining the Banner Health workforce, Chief Clinical Officer Marjorie Bessel, MD, says. “We have all had a shared experience over the past two years with the pandemic and the toll of trying to respond to a once-in-100-years pandemic has been very difficult on the entire organization, especially on those on the frontline. are experiencing increased levels of burnout and we are also seeing effects in other metrics that we track, such as engagement in the workplace through our employee surveys, and turnover rates, which we are seeing at increased levels.”

Promoting healthcare worker well-being is essential during the pandemic, she says. “I am thankful for our healthcare heroes. It is my absolute pleasure to continue to advocate and make sure that we are supporting those who have been taking care of all of us during this pandemic. I am incredibly grateful for the work that they do, and I want to make sure that we help all of them who have been providing great care under stressful conditions for more than two years.”

Layered approaches to well-being

Banner Health has three primary programs that are designed specifically to address healthcare worker well-being, Bessel says.

The Well-Being Collaborative is a health system-level program with initiatives for all Banner Health employees. The collaborative has a range of supportive offerings and activities from virtual online support to physical challenges. “The idea is to approach health holistically and to offer activities to everyone,” she says.

The Cultivating Happiness in Medicine (CHIM) program is targeted at physicians and advanced practice providers. CHIM has been crafted on an evidence-based, holistic model with six themes, including leadership development, social community, and individual wellness. A multidisciplinary team runs the program.

“Our oversight team looks to make sure that we are balanced and that we are doing different types of activities in each one of the six themes. The oversight team is also attuned to the voice of our customer. So, periodically, we do deep listening tours where we have conversations with the individuals we are here to support. right kind of activities that meet the ultimate goal of improving well-being,” Bessel says.

Social community events are a popular aspect of CHIM, she says. “Despite us being in a pandemic, we had more than 50% of our employed physicians and advanced practice providers participating in social community events in 2021. In 2021, there were 696 events. We provide funding for the events; we ask for physicians and advanced practice providers to lead the events themselves,” Bessel says.

The Wellness in Nursing (WIN) program targets nurse well-being. “WIN is set up much like CHIM, where there is a multidisciplinary team that is heavily populated with nursing leaders who oversee a multifaceted program to help support nurses. WIN was launched about two years ago. They also have done listening tours to have conversations with nurses to learn about the types of programs that are needed. There also is some crossover and collaboration between the CHIM and WIN efforts,” she says.

Recent well-being initiatives

Last year, Banner Health launched a peer-support initiative for physicians and advanced practice providers.

“We have trained individuals who volunteer to provide peer support. These volunteers are available to other individuals who need somebody to talk with. It is not a professional level of counseling, but it is more formalized and one-on-one compared to the social community events that we organize. We have 20 volunteers who have been trained to provide peer support. They receive eight hours of training, and they periodically receive virtual refresher courses. program is working well,” Bessel says.

Also last year, Banner Health started creating “recharge rooms” for all healthcare workers.

“The recharge rooms are not exactly like virtual reality, where you wear a headset. These recharge rooms use immersive reality, and it is voice activated. You go into the recharge room and say, ‘Elsewhere.’ In the room, you experience a multi-sensorial activity. On the walls there can be pristine nature scenes and there are customized music scores that play. As you continue through the experience, the lighting changes. minutes, but if you start a scene and you do not like it, you can say, ‘Elsewhere,’ and pick a different scene from the menu. Because it is multi-sensorial, there can be individualized aromatherapy added to the experience,” she says.

Measuring well-being

Banner Health uses multiple metrics to measure healthcare worker well-being, Bessel says.

“We track physician and advanced practice provider turnover. Those statistics have gone up in 2021 compared to 2020. From 2018, to 2019, to 2020, we did make some progress on turnover. The turnover statistics are a reflection of all things that lead to turnover—early retirement, people leaving for different healthcare endeavors, and people leaving healthcare all together. Maslach Burnout Inventory tool—we started using that in 2018. We also have our own internal employee survey, which has two metrics that we like to track. One is the percentage of employees who recommend Banner Health as a great place to work, the other is the percentage of employees who say they are actively engaged,” she says.


Christopher Cheney is the senior clinical care​ editor at HealthLeaders.

Leave a Comment