Some of the initiatives the Consortium, which came together early in 2016, initially discussed are close to fruition including adding an Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) to the NCMS Employee Benefit Plan. Rolling out in early 2017, this will bring help to physicians who work in independent practices enrolled in the NCMS Employee Benefit Plan that may not have the resources a large health system might for such support. The EAP will include an “app” that will drive wellness through counseling, social communication, digital content and perks, including:
- Unique prevention program developed for workplace resilience
- 24/7/365 access to live Master’s-level clinical support
- Short-term, personalized, confidential mental health counseling
- Assistance with issues related to Life, Family, Money, Work and Health
- Best-in-market discounts, cash-back and virtual wallet perks ($475 average perks saving /member/year)
- Real time analytics.
Consortium members also discussed creating an online, searchable directory for mentors or peers outside of a physician’s or physician assistant’s own health system, to provide local peer help and support to those in early stages of burnout or crisis. The Consortium would serve as the vetting committee and provide coaching/training for individuals who serve as resources.
Other issues discussed included:
- how to communicate to all NC health care practitioners about the Consortium’s work and how best to access the resources being developed;
- how to begin to erode the fear of perceived repercussions by the NC Medical Board if a licensee does suffer from a mental health, substance abuse or burnout issue;
- targeting residency programs as well as physician and PA spouses and family members for education and training on wellness and resiliency;
- a governance structure to formalize the activities of this currently ad-hoc group; and
- development of a Physician Wellness Symposium to be held in conjunction with the 2017 M3 Conference in Raleigh next September.
The NCCPRR seeks representatives from all specialties, geographical regions of the state, practices and health systems. The Consortium’s goal is to develop programming and resources that can be shared across the state to address the epidemic of physician burnout at the community level. To be added to the Consortium’s distribution list, contact Pam Highsmith at the NCMS, 919-833-3836 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Consortium has started a Facebook page to share resources. Please join us here on Facebook.