As providers of medicine, our primary focus is—and always should be—the care and comfort of our patients.
But it can’t be our only focus. From affordability issues to the caregiver burnout epidemic, many of the challenges that face our industry in 2020 and beyond will require us to rethink the way we engage with our various stakeholders, taking a more holistic view of the entire healthcare system. These include:
Improving the workplace environment.
Of course, we want to create the best possible experience for our patients and customers. But to do that, we also have to create healthier workplaces for our employees, particularly on the provider side.
Medicine is a demanding field, and some clinical settings are inherently more stressful than others. We continuously ask a lot of our employees.
Which is why we need to have their backs, particularly when it comes to creating a culture of wellness. There’s a growing body of evidence suggesting a direct correlation between employee engagement and well-being, patient experience, and quality of care. Improving the overall workplace culture often improves patient outcomes.
In other words, it’s all interrelated—and if our employees aren’t at their best, our patients can’t be, either.
There are a lot of complex pieces to this puzzle.
It means doing more to secure the safety of our caregivers, protecting nurses and aides from the violence that occasionally visits the emergency department. It means ensuring employees have enough time for meal breaks, so that they are properly hydrated and nourished. It means tightening the mental health safety net, deploying wellness resources proactively rather than reactively.
Above all, it means taking better care of each other.