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February 15, 2019

Identifying and Celebrating Practices That Build Trust in Healthcare

Laura Joszt
ABIM Foundation is building upon its Choosing Wisely campaign with a new Trust Practice Challenge that will identify practices that build or rebuild trust in healthcare with the ultimate goal of creating a collection of replicable and scalable practices.
Trust is integral in healthcare, whether it is between physicians and patients, clinicians and policy makers, or patients and insurers. The ABIM Foundation is now calling on anyone in healthcare to highlight examples of practices that build or rebuild trust.

ABIM Foundation’s Trust Practice Challenge is building upon its Choosing Wisely campaign, which promoted physician–patient conversations about unnecessary care. In Choosing Wisely, ABIM Foundation engaged with specialty societies and respected their expertise and competence to allow them to develop more than 500 recommendations.

“Choosing Wisely offers an important example of building trust through aligning values, respecting competence, and creating reliable relationships,” Richard J. Baron, MD, and Daniel B. Wolfson, MHSA, both of ABIM Foundation, wrote in The American Journal of Medicine. “It shows a path to address the perception and reality of dual agency, which is essential to meaningful reform.”

Baron and Wolfson noted that Gallup polls have shown that while trust in individual physicians remains high, trust in the medical system fall rapidly from 80% in 1975 to 37% in 2017. ABIM Foundation’s new Trust Practice Challenge seeks to address the so-called “trust gap” by identifying practices that cultivate trust.

Entrants should be able to identify a regular practice, such as disclosure of medical errors and subsequent apologies or endorsement of clinicians during care transitions, that takes place in their institution.

The ultimate goal is for ABIM Foundation to be able to assemble a collection of replicable and scalable practices that other institutions in the healthcare system can use to build or rebuild trust.

“Trust is indispensable to achieving high quality and effectiveness in modern healthcare,” Baron, who is president and chief executive officer of the ABIM Foundation and its partner organization, the American Board of Internal Medicine, said in a statement. “We want to promote practices that enhance certainty, confidence and reliability within crucial relationships that can significantly impact health outcomes.”

Winners of the challenge will present their submissions at the ABIM Foundation’s 2019 Forum in August. The deadline to submit is February 28, 2019.


Baron RJ, Wolfson DB. Building trust in the profession: what can we learn from Choosing Wisely? [published online December 17, 2018]. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2018.12.001.

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