The Physicians Foundation Launches Campaign to Help Physicians Address Patients’ Drivers of Health
Medical Associations Also Receive Funding to Catalyze Systems-Change in Physician Practices
BOSTON, April 20, 2023 –The Physicians Foundation launched Let’s Take 5 to Address Drivers of Health, a new campaign to support physicians in addressing their patients’ drivers of health (DOH), such as food security and transportation access. The Physicians Foundation also announced the selection of five medical associations for a new grant program to support physicians to integrate DOH screening into their practices and build the capacity to improve patients’ lives. These efforts expand on the Foundation’s established leadership of recognizing and acting on the challenges of DOH for patients and physicians.
The Physicians Foundation’s 2022 Survey of America’s Physicians brought to light the barriers that physicians face in addressing patients’ DOH. In fact, eight in 10 physicians believe that the U.S. cannot improve health outcomes or reduce health care costs without addressing DOH. However, while nine in 10 physicians want to address drivers of health, six in 10 feel they have little to no time nor the ability to do so effectively. Moreover, eight in 10 physicians believe that addressing patients’ DOH contributes to physician burnout rates. In response to these findings and to help make measured change, The Physicians Foundation developed Let’s Take 5 and the DOH grant program for medical associations.
“As physicians, we are well aware of the significant burden that drivers of health have on our patients’ health, and the toll it takes on us when we are unable to adequately address them,” said Gary Price, M.D., president of The Physicians Foundation. “It is absolutely critical that physicians are given the support and resources they need to address these challenges. The Physicians Foundation is committed to providing solutions and strategies for physicians to not only have the ability to address their patients’ needs, but also be empowered to do so.”
Let’s Take 5 supports physicians by providing actionable steps to start conversations around DOH with patients and integrate evidence-based approaches in clinical care settings, so patients’ overall health and wellbeing are less dependent on the five key types of DOH, including food security, housing stability, transportation access, utilities access and interpersonal safety. As part of this effort, The Physicians Foundation developed the following two campaign resources:
- Let’s Take 5 Conversation Starter: A guide for physicians to prepare their teams to have empathetic and empowering conversations with patients about DOH. Understanding and addressing patients’ DOH is an ongoing and often complex process, and this resource offers advice for physicians and their teams to start this essential conversation.
- Let’s Take 5 Steps Implementation Guide: A resource with five key steps to help physicians and their teams integrate DOH patient screenings through clinically validated workflow approaches. By screening for DOH, patients can be connected with the appropriate community or health service to reduce the impact of DOH on their health and wellbeing. Furthermore, by implementing the right strategies and structures, physicians and their teams can more effectively support their patients.
In addition to the resources provided through the Let’s Take 5 campaign, The Physicians Foundation is also supporting on-the-ground initiatives to address DOH through its new grant program for medical associations. The Physicians Foundation launched the program with the goal of enhancing the capacity for medical associations to help physicians with DOH screening and resource connection and to empower physicians to integrate DOH into their practices.
The recipients of this grant, including the Arizona Medical Association, Center for a Healthy Maryland, Foundation of the Pennsylvania Medical Society, Indiana Medical Foundation and Maine Medical Education Trust, are developing resources and programs for physicians to integrate DOH screening into their practices, including:
- Arizona Medical Association is launching a Center for Excellence to include resources and programs based on a state-wide needs assessment to educate and support physicians in implementing best practices of addressing DOH in routine patient care approaches.
- Center for a Healthy Maryland is developing the Awareness and Referral to Resources to Improve Outcomes (ARRIO) Project to train physicians to integrate DOH screenings and resource navigation into their practices to bridge existing gaps.
- Foundation of the Pennsylvania Medical Society is aiming to engage physician practices through its project, Incorporating Social Drivers of Health into Chronic Disease Management, to support the incorporation of DOH screenings and tools into chronic disease management.
- Indiana Medical Foundation is creating a comprehensive website to serve as an all-encompassing resource for addressing DOH and partnering with practices to integrate or enhance frameworks to address DOH and connect patients with resources.
- Maine Medical Education Trust is working with five medical practices that do not currently screen for DOH to provide them with the assistance they need to implement DOH screenings and assure that patients are connected with the right resources.
“These five medical associations are leading the way to ensure that physicians and their teams have the tools they need to improve patients’ lives,” Price said. “Through the development of new resources and programs, we are working to make tailored patient care easier and more effective. Together, we will continue to be a catalyst for change so that our patients’ health and wellbeing are no longer dependent on the five key types of drivers of health.”
Explore the Let’s Take 5 resources at physiciansfoundation.org/letstake5
About The Physicians Foundation
The Physicians Foundation is a nonprofit seeking to advance the work of practicing physicians and help them facilitate the delivery of high-quality health care to patients. As the U.S. health care system continues to evolve, The Physicians Foundation is steadfast in strengthening the physician-patient relationship, supporting medical practices’ sustainability and helping physicians navigate the changing health care system. The Physicians Foundation pursues its mission through research, education and innovative grant making that improves physician wellbeing, strengthens physician leadership, addresses drivers of health and lifts physician perspectives. For more information, visit www.physiciansfoundation.org.