Expertfile Spotlight on National Plan for Health Workforce Well-BeingOctober 12, 20223 min read
ChristianaCare Participates in National Academy of Medicine National Plan for Health Workforce Well-Being and Calls for Collective Movement to Address Burnout Crisis
The capacity and well-being of the U.S. health workforce has been under threat for years by an epidemic of burnout, and two years of the COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated this systems issue. Now at least 40% of nurses, 20% of physicians, and more than 25% of state and local public health department employees are considering leaving their professions. Recognizing that the function of the U.S. health system is at stake due to dangerously mounting health care system pressures, the National Plan for Health Workforce Well-Being by the National Academy of Medicine calls for immediate action to safeguard this precious national resource dedicated to protecting the country’s health. ChristianaCare is proud to have contributed this publication.
“The NAM Clinician Well-Being Collaborative’s National Plan for Health Workforce Well-Being will drive urgently needed collective action to strengthen health workforce well-being and reverse existing alarming trends in burnout and turnover,” said ChristianaCare Chief Wellness Officer Heather Farley, M.D., MHCDS, FACEP. “ChristianaCare has served as a strategic network partner with the NAM to design this National Plan, which will coordinate action across several priority areas, including understanding the effects of COVID-19 on the health care workforce, recruiting of the next generation, and increasing access to much-needed mental health resources.”
The National Plan calls on multiple actors to work together to drive policy and systems change to better support the health workforce and the health of all communities – including health care and public health leaders, government, payers, industry, educators, and leaders in other sectors. A draft of the National Plan was made available for public feedback and received nearly 2,000 constructive comments. To date the final Plan has received endorsements from over 25 organizations representing the diverse organizational membership of the Clinician Well-Being Collaborative and the various actors needed to collectively advance the practical strategies laid out in the Plan – including ChristianaCare.
ChristianaCare has been engaged in all National Plan priority areas, such as:
- The creation and sustaining of positive work and learning environments and culture. Efforts in this priority area include development of the Center for WorkLife Wellbeing, which utilizes a comprehensive, multimodal approach to foster caregiver work-life meaning, connection, and joy. The Center offers multiple support services and culture change initiatives, including the implementation of resident well-being rounds, OASIS rooms for caregiver restoration, and opportunities for caregivers to develop long-standing mutual support systems.
- The support of mental health and reduction of mental health stigma, which included the championing of the physician mental health bill that became law this year. It also includes psychological first aid training that ChristianaCare has implemented for health system leaders and managers. Additionally, ChristianaCare offers free comprehensive behavioral health support services and an individual peer and group support program to help caregivers when they experience stress in the workplace.
- The commitment to well-being as a long-term value, which includes integration of caregiver collective well-being as a systemwide strategic goal.
The National Plan visualizes that, when all actors take responsibility, we can create a health system in which care is delivered with joy and with meaning, by a committed care team, in partnership with engaged patients and communities. The National Plan identifies a range of actions for the near-, medium-, and long-term to achieve seven priority areas for health workforce well-being, clearly naming associated goals and responsible actors. Access the full National Plan here to learn more about the priority areas for action.
For more information on the Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience, of which ChristianaCare is a member, visit this site.
Heather Farley, M.D., MHCDS, FACEP Chief Wellness Officer
Dr. Farley, an emergency physician by training, is one of the nation's foremost experts on healthcare worker wellbeing