Leadership Corner: Boost Happiness to Avoid Burnout

Posted on June 07, 2018

The Leadership Corner features monthly updates from the MHA leadership team. The updates will provide new insights to patient safety and quality as well as information obtained from healthcare workshops and conferences across the country.

Sam R. Watson, MSA, CPPS, senior vice president of patient safety and quality, MHA Keystone Center, shares his recommendations to decrease stress and boost happiness.

Sam WatsonMuch is being shared among healthcare professionals regarding the revision of the Triple Aim – an integrated approach to better patient outcomes, creating a better patient experience and lowering healthcare costs. Additionally, expansion of the Triple Aim to the Quadruple Aim has been discussed. The Quadruple Aim incorporates the other three aims, but focuses primarily on improving the work/life balance of healthcare providers.

Scholarly journals, workshops/conferences, and various organizations have all recently addressed the epidemic of healthcare staff burnout. In a nutshell, physician and staff well-being is an essential component to the quality of patient care. Therefore, it has become vitally important to address this issue and talk about the need for self-care by providers.  

Over the years, the MHA Keystone Center has collaborated with J. Bryan Sexton, PhD, associate professor and director of the Patient Safety Center, Duke University Health System, on the issue of burnout.

In reducing the effects of burnout, Sexton often points to the importance of gratitude. He highly recommends “Three Good Things,” which is an exercise developed by Martin E.P. Seligman, PhD. Seligman is the founder of positive psychology, a field of study that examines health states, such as happiness, strength of character and optimism.

It claims that you can increase your long-term happiness by nearly 10 percent by writing down three things each day for one week that went well and why they were successful.

As we move into the summer months, many take time for vacations, long weekends or possibly just more quiet time to relax and rejuvenate. My recommendation would be to carve out time in your day – just a few minutes – to slow down, take time for yourself, be grateful for the small things, and look at things with a glass half-full approach. You may just find at the end of it, you come back feeling happier and less burned out.

This article was featured in the MHA Keystone Center Newsletter. To subscribe, please contact Ashley Sandborn, MHA Keystone Center communications specialist.


  • Leadership Corner: Boost Happiness to Avoid Burnout

Tags: Patient Safety and Quality, Sam Watson, Quadruple Aim, burnout

Posted in: MHA Rounds, Patient Safety & Quality

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