(image credit: Atrium Health)

CHARLOTTE – Even before the pandemic challenged our health care workers, Atrium Health was focused on making the health system the “best place to care,” seeking feedback from care providers with a goal of ensuring doctors, nurses and other members of the care team weren’t burdened with administrative tasks so they could focus on the fulfilling aspects of treating patients. That, and other programs designed to lift up and support its workforce, has earned Atrium Health the Joy in Medicine™ Gold designation from the American Medical Association (AMA).

The Joy in Medicine Health System Recognition Program honors health systems that demonstrate a commitment to preserving the well-being of clinical care team members in combating work-related stress and burnout. The two-year designation’s scoring criteria is based on demonstrated competencies in commitment, assessment, leadership, efficiency of practice environment, teamwork and support. The recognition extends across the entirety of the Atrium Health footprint, including Atrium Health in the greater Charlotte area, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Atrium Health Navicent in Macon, Georgia, and Atrium Health Floyd in Rome, Georgia.

“We are deeply honored and proud to receive this prestigious designation,” said Dr. Suzanna Fox, senior vice president and deputy chief physician executive for Atrium Health. “Our ‘best place to care’ initiative has made a significant difference in the lives of our clinicians – maximizing their time with patients, which is why they got into medicine in the first place, and reducing the administrative burden. It empowers them to maximize their passion, potential and performance. We’re truly trying to maintain a culture of well-being for all and to receive this type of recognition for our efforts is very meaningful for all of our teammates.”

A total of 72 health systems, nationwide, earned recognition this year, with documented efforts to reduce system-level drivers of work-related burnout and demonstrated competencies in commitment, assessment, leadership, efficiency of practice environment, teamwork and support. Atrium Health was one of only 10 systems to receive the Gold designation this year. After first receiving the award’s Silver designation in 2021, Atrium Health leaders got to work on continuous improvement around this effort. Since that time, they have had workstreams focused on six core competency areas – including efficiency, leadership, teamwork and support – to ensure that improvements were continuing to be made.

“Atrium Health is continually focused on the health of our clinicians,” said Dr. Scott Rismiller, executive vice president and chief physician officer at Advocate Health, of which Atrium Health is now part. “The AMA estimates that only 27% of a clinician’s day is spent meeting one-on-one with patients, so we launched ‘best place to care’ more than four years ago to remove those obstacles that stand in the way of clinicians caring for their patients. Once you remove friction points that get between the clinician and the patient, our clinicians can then do what comes naturally, care for their patients and care for each other.”

“The goal of the Joy in Medicine Health System Recognition Program is to unite the health care community in building a nationwide culture committed to the well-being of clinical care teams by helping health organizations invest in action plans promoting professional fulfillment and meaning that clinicians find in caring for their patients,” said Dr. Christine Sinsky, AMA vice president of professional satisfaction.

“Health organizations that have earned recognition from the AMA’s Joy in Medicine Health System Recognition Program are leading a national movement that has declared the well-being of health professionals to be an essential element for providing high-quality care to patients, families and communities,” said AMA President Dr. Jesse M. Ehrenfeld. “Each Joy in Medicine-recognized organization is distinguished as among the nation’s best at creating a culture of wellness that makes a difference in the lives of clinical care teams.” [source]

Congratulations, Atrium Health!