Is your institution trying to rebuild trust, or do you have success stories you’d like to share to help others learn?
We invite you to participate in the ABIM Foundation’s Building Trust initiative and use a suite of free resources that can be customized for any organization.
Not sure how to start building trust at your organization? The resources below can help you understand why trust matters and how to best move forward with implementing a project that works for you.
- Trust is declining across wide swaths of the health care system. Learn more from a 2021 survey on public and physician perceptions of trust in the U.S. health system.
- The Building Trust Learning Network includes health system leaders, clinicians, researchers and other stakeholders who actively discuss and learn about enhancing trust in the delivery of health care across the country. Find out how to join.
- This guide from Essential Hospitals Institute provides an overview of which trust dimensions are most important to vulnerable populations and what hospital policies and practices promote trust.
- Read about practical efforts to implement the Building Trust initiative, which can inform your own efforts:
- Case Study: Parkland Hospital & Health System
- Case Study: Wayne State University School of Medicine
- These first-hand accounts shine a light on the importance of building trust across the U.S. health system.
Ways to engage in Building Trust:
We are seeking exemplary practices that foster trust and trustworthiness in the health care sector. Our goal is to learn about, and highlight, ways that individuals, groups, organizations and institutions are nurturing trust. If you don’t already have a practice in mind, we can help you get the conversation started.
Invite clinicians, leadership, staff, patient advisory committees, or a mix of participants to share ideas on how to build trust within your own organization. Gather in-person or virtually to discuss trust-building approaches and decide which are feasible. Then commit to taking action.
Collect ideas that identify and promote exemplary practices that foster trust and trustworthiness at all levels of your organization. Practices should focus on improving relationships in health care, and will help you learn about ways that individuals, groups and your institution as a whole are building trust.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Building Trust initiative?
The Building Trust initiative is a multi-faceted effort to foster leadership, conversation, research, and best practices to elevate trust as an essential organizing principle for improving health care.
Why focus on Building Trust?
Trust is an essential component for effective health care, and research has shown that the quality of health outcomes improve when there is a stable foundation of trusting relationships. But trust in health care has been in steady decline in the U.S. for several decades, clear evidence that trust in the system is strained.
While 73% of Americans said they had great confidence in medical professionals in 1966, only 34% said so in 2012. Multiple factors contribute to this decline in trust, including a fragmented patient-clinician relationship, consumerism, limited time for communication, and highly publicized conflicts of interest between clinicians and the pharmaceutical industry. Trust in health care is even lower among historically marginalized communities who have experienced barriers to access and overt racism within the health care system.
The COVID-19 pandemic also created new threats to trust. The preexisting distrust in science was exacerbated by miscommunication, questionable treatments, and political interference in public health recommendations. In addition, Black and Latino communities faced inadequate testing, barriers to care, and high case rates and deaths. All of these factors contributed to their continued distrust in the health care system.
Every day health care organizations, hospitals, and health systems face dozens of competing priorities, labor and employment challenges, as well as the impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the health care sector. Building trust with employees, colleagues, and with the local community has never been more important than it is now.
If you have further questions about using these tools, please contact Kelly Rand (firstname.lastname@example.org).