Top of Mind Summit opens with keynote focused on burnout in health care


Watch full video of Dr. Tina Shah’s presentation at event for leaders and innovators in health care

Tina Shah, MD, set the stage for the Top of Mind Summit with a keynote address that tackled a pervasive and difficult issue in health care: provider burnout.

The Top of Mind Summit, hosted by the Center for Connected Medicine (CCM), is an invite-only event for leaders and innovators in health care that focuses on the most pressing issues facing health systems. The 2023 Summit was held April 24-25.

The theme for the Summit, “Advancing Medical Discoveries and Expanding Access to Care,” included a range of discussions focused on some of the most pressing issues facing health systems and health care, including access, patient engagement, AI, interoperability, and innovative payment models.

Dr. Shah, who’s a practicing critical care physician, consultant, and digital health expert, approached the topic of burnout in a way that seemed to resonate with the health care leaders in attendance.

At a time when consumer expectations for health care delivery are rising, the health care workforce is overburdened, stretched thin, and simply burned out.  The cumulative effect is clinicians are not prepared to meet the higher expectations of their patients.

Setting the stage for the Summit

Her presentation, which came on the first night of the Summit, set the stage for many of the sessions that followed the next day. Whether it was intentional or not, the audience at Top of Mind heard again and again from a variety of speakers that burnout was an issue affecting many parts of health systems.

They heard it come up in a session on expanding access to care — a primary theme of the Summit and CCM research over the past couple years — and the challenges clinicians face dealing with digital messaging from patients and online scheduling.

While those technologies are key to improving the consumer experience and reducing the friction for patients trying to access the system, they also are adding more work for providers.

Burnout came up in a discussion of the role of health data in boosting patient engagement. While the greater availability of data, whether patient-generated or extracted from electronic health records, could give the patient and their provider a more complete view of their health, we don’t yet have an efficient way to deliver meaningful insights without adding to the workload.

And burnout was even mentioned during a session focused on the health care industry’s contribution to the global crisis of climate change.

Some solutions to reducing clinician burnout

So, what’s the solution? Dr. Shah offered three concluding thoughts on how health systems can move forward and ensure that their clinicians are prepared to meet the demands of patients.

First, technology solutions need to be co-designed with both the patient and provider experience in mind.

Second, technology should be leveraged to reduce the cognitive load on clinicians. It needs to be better integrated and operate in the background to make care delivery easier on clinicians, not more burdensome.

And finally, clinicians simply need more time and greater resources to confront all the challenges they’re facing.

“And when we do that … there’s no limit in where we can go,” she said.

Watch Tina Shah’s full presentation

More about Top of Mind from the CCM

The CCM has published a full recap report on the Summit highlighting the many thought-provoking sessions and top-notch speakers.

You also can read our most recent Top of Mind for Top Health Systems research report, which focused on improving patient access, telehealth, and artificial intelligence.

And learn more about the Top of Mind program of research and events.

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