Explainer: The 'capability' framework for healthcare

By Alison Pereto | June 6, 2018

cartoon of doctors examining patients

Physicians can't cure burnout alone. Using a framework called “capability," however, healthcare organizations can help.

Capability doesn't refer to providers' quality or commitment. Instead, it pinpoints how empowered physicians feel to do their jobs by assessing three forms of organizational support: the tools, resources, and latitude they need to care for patients.

According to athenahealth's survey of more than 1,000 physicians, those who perceive strong support from their organizations in all three areas experience higher levels of engagement and lower levels of burnout. These physicians are highly productive, embrace change, trust their leadership, and find joy in their calling.

“The tighter we get our physicians back directly with their patients, that relationship becomes not transactional but therapeutic – and it cuts both ways,“ says Jim Sams, M.D., CEO of Privia Medical Group-Georgia. “You give and you get."

This video offers a brief primer on capability: what it is, why it's important, and how healthcare organizations can use athenahealth's research on the framework to restore their physicians' joy in healthcare.

Alison Pereto is staff writer at athenaInsight.

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