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Triple Aim Should Be Expanded to Address Physician Burnout

Doctor(HealthDay News) — Expanding the Triple Aim approach — which includes enhancing patient experience, improving population health, and reducing costs — to the Quadruple Aim by adding the goal of improving health care provider work life is recommended, according to the authors of an article published in the November/December issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Thomas Bodenheimer, M.D., from the University of California at San Francisco, and Christine Sinsky, M.D., from Medical Associates Clinic and Health Plan in Dubuque, Iowa, discuss the impact of burnout and dissatisfaction in relation to the Triple Aim.

Noting that burnout correlates with lower patient satisfaction and reduced health outcomes, and may increase costs thereby imperiling the Triple Aim, the researchers discuss expansion to a Quadruple Aim, adding the goal of improving health care provider work life. Increased burnout has been seen in practices working towards Triple Aim performance. Addressing clinician satisfaction has been associated with improvement in Triple Aim measures.

“The positive engagement, rather than the negative frustration, of the health care workforce is of paramount importance in achieving the primary goal of the Triple Aim — improving population health,” the authors write. “Leaders and providers of health care should consider adding a fourth dimension — improving the work life of those who deliver care — to the compass points of better care, better health, and lower costs.”

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One comment

  1. The triple aim was doomed from the start by its own blind spot. You cannot create a healthcare system that fails to acknowledge the health and happiness of the providers. The triple aim is largely to blame for the current physician burnout epidemic and the historically high levels of burnout in all other front line health providers – PA’s, NP’s, nurses, MA’s, reception and front line administrators are just a partial list.

    Until we restore balance to the triple aim by adding in the missing principle as suggested by these authors … goals of the triple aim are largely unattainable.

    My two cents,

    Dike Drummond MD

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