Excellence in patient care by Atlantic Health System and Baptist Health South Florida has been well recognized by publications such as US News and World Report and others. Both are also regularly named among the best places to work for their employees and staff.
The two organizations, both members of the AMA Health System program, have made Fortune the magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list this year. For Coral Gables-based Baptist Health, it was their 22nd time on the list. Atlantic Health, based in Morristown, New Jersey, has made the list 14 times in a row.
Fortune notes that 57% of employees at a typical US company report working at a large company. For Atlantic Health it’s 85% and for Baptist Health South Florida it’s 83%.
Here are some other stats for Baptist Health South Florida:
- 92% of the system’s 24,000 employees said they “feel good about how we contribute to the community.”
- 91% said, “When you join the company, you feel welcome.”
- 89% said, “I am proud to tell others that I work here. »
For Atlantic Health:
- 91% of the 18,100 people on the system team said, “I am proud to tell others that I work here. »
- 91% also said, “I feel good about how we contribute to the community.”
- 91% said, “When you join the company, you feel welcome.”
The AMA Health System program provides enterprise solutions to equip leaders, physicians, and care teams with resources to advance programs and contribute to the future of medicine. Learn more.
According to Nikki Sumpter, executive director of Atlantic Health, supporting Atlantic Health’s 4,800 affiliated physicians and other frontline clinical team members is one way to differentiate the system from competitors because strong member performance of the team would translate into better patient care.
“It’s been a real journey for Atlantic Health over the past 14, 15 years of trying to make sure we have a workplace where our whole team can come to work and feel valued and supported to be able to do the essential work at the mission they were trained to do,” she said.
Steven Sheris, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer of Atlantic Health, agreed.
“Atlantic Health has realized that the best healthcare systems, those that deliver the best outcomes, create a team culture that empowers all members of the care team,” said Dr. Sheris, who is also president of the ‘Atlantic Medical Group.
“Our community of physicians realizes that it cannot do this alone,” he said. “And that’s really the secret sauce to Atlantic’s success – how we empower everyone to truly be their best professionally and provide the resources our team members need to grow professionally.”
That sense of being empowered and making people feel valued has paid off during the pandemic.
“What made us great before COVID got us through COVID – we couldn’t have been successful without the culture of trust and empowerment we cultivated in the years before COVID,” Dr Sheris said.
“We really prioritized two things: patient safety and teammate safety,” he said. “We didn’t tell the care delivery site what to do. We just said, ‘We trust you. Tell us what you need, we’ll get it for you.
The proof of how well this strategy worked, according to Dr. Sheris, is how the system was able to go from 14 telehealth visits per week to 14,000 in a matter of days.
“We empowered medical practices and said, ‘Determine how you need to see your patients and we’ll set up the systems to help you see those patients,’” he said. “So how do you restore an element of control when everything is out of control? You give people the ability to innovate and create solutions.
Dr. Sheris said Atlantic Health’s keys to reducing physician burnout include improving workflows and eliminating unnecessary processes.
“We revise processes that don’t add value,” he said. “I’m a big proponent of reviewing our systems and processes to make decision-making more agile.”
Although approximately 75% of Atlantic Health’s workforce has been with the organization for less than 10 years, Fortune notes that 9% have worked for the organization for more than 20 years.
“We have people who have been here for 50 years – it doesn’t happen by accident,” Sumpter said.
Baptist Health South Florida has similar statistics, with 71% of employees having tenure of less than 10 years, while 8% have been there for over 20 years.
According Fortune, 13% of employees have been in the system for 11 to 15 years. This includes the organization’s first wellness manager, Ana Viamonte Ros, MD, MPH, who has worked for Baptist Health South Florida for 12 years as medical director of palliative care and bioethics.
“At meetings, when people identify themselves or introduce themselves, they say, ‘I’ve been here 35 years, I’ve been here 42 years,’ and I’m like, ‘Damn, someone is doing something good, otherwise people would ‘don’t stay that long,'” she said.
Dr. Viamonte Ros previously served as the state’s first surgeon general and led the Florida Department of Health from 2007 to 2011.
In her new role, she leads the organization’s initiatives to make mental health wellness and general wellness a priority. It will include developing a system-wide strategy and support to help all Baptist Health physicians, clinicians, and employees dealing with stress, anxiety, burnout, and depression.
“Baptiste truly recognized the importance of solidifying and aligning all of our efforts, and they created what is now our Wellness Department to take a holistic approach to addressing physical, emotional, social, spiritual wellbeing. and financial of our healthcare workforce,” said Dr. Viamonte Ros.
“Baptiste recognized how important it was to de-stigmatize and normalize mental health services,” she said. “Our leaders have become role models for saying, ‘I went for help and it was very helpful.’ I invite everyone who reports to me to do so as well.
“We all need help at some point. There is no stigma,” added Dr. Viamonte Ros. “Are you weak because you need it? No. On the contrary, you are brave and you are brave to recognize that you need help and to seek it.
Baptist Health South Florida offers staff access to family and marriage counselors and has begun training in “mental first aid” to develop “on-the-ground wellness champions” to support colleagues going through difficult times, Dr. Viamonte says Ros. This includes co-workers being able to offer personal days off to co-workers who could benefit from additional time off.
Exercise, education and meditation programs are also available.
While she knows these programs are helpful, Dr. Viamonte Ros recognizes what fuels burnout in many physicians: cumbersome EHR systems – and she’s working with the system’s computer experts to take some of the pain out of the way. that EHRs can create.
“Doctors haven’t been going to medical school all day documenting and filling out insurance forms — they want to see patients,” she said. “We need to recognize that no amount of meditation and resilience training will be able to undo some of the onerous administrative hurdles that keep doctors from practicing.”