The Great Resignation—an exodus of employees from many industries in the wake of the pandemic—and the myriad stresses it has brought on and exacerbated is creating a crisis in healthcare. By some estimates, 20 percent of the workforce are leaving their positions at a time when the industry can least afford to lose them.
The Well Being Response
Coping with this crisis requires evaluating and fixing the workplace and championing the well being of staff. But what is well being? As distinct from physical wellness, well being is psychological, emotional and spiritual health. The Stanford WellMD model looks at three components of professional well being: personal resilience, efficiency of practice and being able to work within a culture of wellness and well being.
Focusing on the Workplace
Focusing on the medical workplace as the arena for change will strengthen these components of well being. Formal and informal institutional support for physicians begins with leaders learning about the real-world challenges their physicians face. It is also vitally important to fix the workplace—and that means reducing unnecessary burdens of documentation, data entry and administrative requirements that add little to no benefit. It also means improving the culture of the organization by empowering physicians and aligning them with enterprise-wide success.
When leaders are visible, such as visiting clinical sites, speaking with physicians, asking them how things are going and thanking them, it exemplifies their priority and attention on this issue. In the process of being present on the frontlines of care, leaders are able to learn firsthand and take those learnings to address the many challenges physicians face daily. In taking time to do this, leaders can quickly learn what needs to change in order to improve patient care and physician well being. They’re able to gain key insights into how to harness all of the resources of the enterprise—HR, IT, finance or supply chain to support their employees and staff.
For more on how to confront the Great Resignation with well being focused solutions, read my article How to Face the Great Resignation in Healthcare here.