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American Association for Physician Leadership
American Association for Physician Leadership

Integrating Patient Safety and Clinician Wellbeing

by Michael R. Privitera, MD, MS | Kate MacNamee, MS

May 8, 2021


Using these models, healthcare leaders can integrate patient safety with clinician wellbeing and create the conditions necessary for clinicians to provide excellent care.


In the dynamic and stressful environment of healthcare, leadership training has not evolved to incorporate the rapid technology advancement with the connectivity and enhanced accountability that has come with it. Hence, there is a gap in leader best practice to account for human adaptation lagging behind technological advances in healthcare. Leadership’s basic level understanding of human factors could help prevent or mitigate negative impact from the variety of externally imposed expectations on clinicians that currently drive many hospital leader decisions. The new models proposed here build on traditional safety models of systemic barriers or defenses used in complex systems but integrate a consideration for human factors affecting outcomes. This framework can help leaders more realistically weigh risks and benefits of healthcare initiatives to avoid negative consequences of their decisions.

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Michael R. Privitera, MD, MS

Michael R. Privitera, MD, MS, is professor of psychiatry and medical director of the Medical Faculty and Clinical Wellness Program at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC). He has written for The Joint Commission, the American Hospital Association, National Patient Safety Foundation, Medscape, the Journal of Hospital Administration and the Journal of Legal Medicine on physician burnout.

Kate MacNamee, MS

Kate MacNamee, MS, is director of design research at Ximedica.

For over 45 years.

The American Association for Physician Leadership has helped physicians develop their leadership skills through education, career development, thought leadership and community building.

The American Association for Physician Leadership (AAPL) changed its name from the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE) in 2014. We may have changed our name, but we are the same organization that has been serving physician leaders since 1975.


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American Association for Physician Leadership®

formerly known as the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE)