Doctors trust less of their employers, says the ABIM Foundation

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost every part of health care, including how much doctors trust their own employers and the medical system in general.

Nearly a third of doctors say their confidence in their organization and the health system in general decreased during the pandemic. It is according to new data from the survey of 600 physicians of the American Council of the Internal Medicine Foundation conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago.

ABIM is also launching a new campaign called “Build Trust“intended to increase trust between clinicians, patients and other healthcare providers.

“Our goal is to make trust an essential and important aspect of health care that people have intentionally focused on,” said Daniel Wolfson, executive vice president and chief operating officer of ABIM. “Whether or not doctors receive protective equipment, how organizations communicate with their employees on guidelines and operations largely determines whether their doctors thought they could trust them. [their administration leadership]. “

The campaign will reflect ABIM almost a decade ago. “Choose wisely“Campaign, which aimed to reduce low-value tests and procedures. Researchers found little evidence that the effort shifted the needle significantly.

The Building Trust project already has about 50 healthcare organizations, including Scripps Health, Health News, Human, Walmart and the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, submitting practices they think build trust.

Campaign partner UnityPoint Health, an integrated health system in Iowa and Wisconsin, has created examination room table tents that indicate a room had been cleaned and an infographic for staff on how to safely treat patients to create small intentional gestures to build patient trust.

The campaign will include conversations with thought leaders and research on how organizations can drive trust through communication, competence and compassion.

“We’ve seen that in organizations like that Virginia Mason (Franciscan Health), which has a contract between doctors and the administration to align their interests, “Wolfson said.” Alignment of values ​​is always important and when management and physicians are not aligned with what they think their values ​​are — and financial considerations have to be put into play — there are concerns. I think the antidote is a real conversation between the administration and the doctors. ”

Among other findings in the survey, physicians in particular have the same level or have increased levels of trust in their medical peers (94% trust doctors in their own practice, and 84% trust doctors in their own practice). out of their practice) and nurses (89%) most of the other actors. Meanwhile, confidence levels are declining towards government agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and health insurance companies.

Doctors say their trust is increased when health care providers treat them with respect, are ethical and have policies that put patients first. Doctors say that demonstrating empathy, listening, answering questions and spending time with patients were the most important things in building trusting relationships with patients. Wolfson linked the issue of confidence to the reported metric results.

“Improving quality goes at the speed of trust: if there aren’t a lot of trust relationships in the healthcare system, quality improvement will be lacking because the foundation of trust is not there,” Wolfson said. “I think you’re going to see a lot of that in future organizations that do their own challenge of asking,‘ What are the things we do that build trust in the organization? “

Among other findings, more than half of doctors say their health care provider ensured a safe workplace during the pandemic, communicated effectively on COVID-19, reduced outreach in facilities and television. -Integrated health as an alternative to in-person appointments.

On the patient side, of about 2,000 people, 78% say they trust their primary care physician, with older adults, white people, and higher-income patients reporting the highest levels of trust in physicians. Among people who said they had less confidence in their doctors, 25% said their doctor spends too little time with them and 14% say their doctor doesn’t know them or doesn’t listen to them.

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