Organizational Professionalism

Organizational Professionalism is the concept that a set of competencies and behaviors define professionalism for health care organizations, just as they do for individual professionals. Many physicians have reported that they have difficulty living up to the principles of the Physician Charter on Medical Professionalism because of structural factors in their practice environment. Health care organizations have an opportunity to influence the behavior of not just physicians, but other professionals and non-professionals that work within them. The resulting culture could have profound effects on the healing process for patients.

Moreover, health care organizations can impact population health in ways that individuals cannot. They can collaborate with other health care, governmental, and community organizations to affect the social determinants of health as well as other factors that create healthy communities.

This concept lays the foundation for diverse entities: patients, health care workers, professionals, communities, and health care institutions to collaborate in the creation of a healthy society.

A multistakeholder group has developed a Charter on Professionalism for Healthcare Organizations, which may serve as a roadmap for health care organizations to implement these principles.

How to use the Charter

Individuals who share the goals of the Charter and want to take action can:

  • Share it with the executive leadership of your organization and your board of directors. Discuss how the charter can guide the organization to improve its performance. Endorse the Charter to be listed on this website.
  • Develop projects that exemplify various Charter commitments and request to have that activity listed on this website.
  • Write about successes in using the charter to guide performance improvement to journals such as JAMA that has a designated column on professionalism, and submit your best success for the annual award from The Foundation for Medical Excellence
  • Speak to colleagues about the Charter and sent them copies of the Charter or links to this website.
  • Request that your professional organization(s) endorse the charter.