Episode #55 – The ‘Trust Practice’ Challenge with Dr. Richard Baron

Trust – or the lack of it – is a critically important issue in healthcare these days. This issue has tangible impact on the care of patients and the work life of providers. There is no question that trust in our medical system has declined. The Gallup poll shows a massive drop in public trust of the medical system from 76% in 1977 to 36% in 2018.. Another highly respected index, the Edelman Trust Barometer, suggests that the American public’s trust in healthcare “crashed” in 2018; dropping 25 points. The Edelman survey experts called this an “extreme trust loss”.  

In response to this distrust epidemic, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation has just launched a campaign to address the issue.  It’s called the ‘Trust Practice’ Challenge.

What’s unique about this particular interview is that we’ll not only be introduced to an exciting new venture in healthcare, and talk about it with a world-class expert; but, we’ll also have the chance to participate in it!

In this interview Dr. Richard Baron, the CEO of the ABIM and the ABIM Foundation, shares the goals of the Trust Practice Challenge –  to elicit “inspiring and best-in-class” examples of practices that cultivate trust from and between individuals, provider groups, departments and institutions within and across healthcare. 

The purpose of this campaign is to seek out a community of individuals and organizations who care deeply about rebuilding trust in healthcare, and who are interested in getting better at it. The ultimate goal is to improve healthcare relationships, and the experience and outcomes of medical care.

Some of the topics Dr. Baron touches on include:

  • The current societal factors that led the ABIM Foundation to select ‘trust’ as the major initiative to address at this point in time and what they’re hoping to accomplish through this initiative.
  • How trust has been eroded in healthcare – between patients and providers, between the public and the healthcare system, between providers and the healthcare system…
  • The elements of trust the ABIM Foundation is hoping to address and rebuild in the profession of medicine and in healthcare in general.
  • “The four simple rules”  the ABIM Foundation took in launching the Choosing Wisely campaign and how they are adopting that same approach to creating a network of trust.
  • A more detailed description of the ABIM “Trust Practice” Challenge and how you can immediately contribute to that campaign and the community of trust.

I applaud the ABIM Foundation for taking on an issue that is so critically important and so ambitious. I am not aware of any other national, systematic effort explicitly focused on rebuilding trust in healthcare.   I also have to share my admiration for their co-creative approach. It’s a highly appreciative, collaborative and respectful stance – looking to the expertise and integrity that is abundant in the profession of medicine and the healthcare community at large.

The ABIM Foundation’s ‘trust practice’ initiative is visionary.  It has the potential to reframe and reshape how we think about and go about the work of healthcare delivery, as well as how we redesign and reorganize healthcare delivery for the future. 

I plan to share this campaign with my colleagues.. The online submission form can be accessed here/, or at www.abimfoundation.org. The last day for submissions is Thursday, February 28th 2019.

Zeev Neuwirth, MD