Body Mapping COVID-19: Crisis Management in Frontline Healthcare Providers

Dr. Sara Santarossa, from the Department of Public Health Sciences, and Dr. Jacqueline Pflaum from the Department of Emergency Medicine received funding from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation to help frontline healthcare providers.

This project seeks to leverage the lived experiences of resident-physicians (physician learners) who care for COVID-19 patients using an innovative Body Mapping approach. Body maps are life-size human body images created through art-based techniques to visually represent aspects of people’s lives and the world they live in. Body mapping will allow physicians to describe their journey with caring for COVID-19; connecting in their narratives and supporting their visualization of problems faced and sources of strengths. Body maps will be used in a virtual knowledge exchange opportunity for the broader community and to draw comparisons from COVID-19 patient perspectives.

Bringing together stories from physician learners and patients will create an opportunity to improve patient-centered healthcare practices and may reduce burnout in frontline workers. Physician burnout affects the entire healthcare system; it is associated with increased rates of medical errors, higher cost via increased turnover, and worse patient outcomes due to physician irritability and decreased attentiveness. Projects that can reduce physician burnout are important undertakings to improve the healthcare system.



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