September 28, 2017

Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation

Leading Healthy Work Systems

The Physicians Foundation invests in projects to support physicians in their roles as leaders of health care reform. When physician leaders have access to the research on healthy and productive work systems, they can more easily articulate and act on physician needs to influence legislative and organizational decisions affecting physicians' abilities to function at their highest levels as healers. "Leading Healthy Work Systems" brings physician leaders from Wisconsin together in peer cohorts to learn a systems approach to leadership. A systems model provides a framework for leaders to understand the interdependencies between the:

1) Person (e.g. skills, abilities, motivations, behaviors)
2) Task (e.g. job demands, content)
3) Technology (e.g. requirements, rate of change)
4) Environment (e.g. physical surroundings, social dynamics)
5) Organization (e.g. policies, reward structures, culture).

The WMS Foundation offered six cohorts of the Leading a Health Work System fundamentals course to 77 physicians from a variety of geographies and career stages. These physicians attended three five-hour sessions in-person at the medical society. Subject matter experts from the University of Wisconsin, Madison led each of the sessions. They also offered an on-site offering of the fundamentals course, customized to the specific host organization, with 25 healthcare professionals in attendance. Participants developed an action plan for effective and sustainable changes to improve physicians’ experience. Lastly, the WMS Foundation also offered three Leadership Summits, where it gathered leaders from across the state’s healthcare systems. These leaders learned the basics of the Leading a Healthy Work System curriculum and discussed how those strategies could be implemented in their systems to improve the physician experience.