49H - Building a Resilient Workforce for COVID-19 and Beyond
Tuesday, March 21
Essential safety-net hospitals, like many providers, faced workforce shortages before the pandemic, and COVID-19 dramatically increased these pressures. Beyond the severe staffing challenges and high labor costs, the stresses of the health system response increased staff burnout levels. This crisis posed an unprecedented threat to the physical and mental health of caregivers and drove many to leave healthcare entirely, further deepening workforce shortages. These disruptions to care teams may have also contributed to dramatic deteriorations in patient safety.
A 2022 survey of these hospitals demonstrated some of these dynamics. Fully 98% of these institutions used temporary staff during the pandemic. The disruptions and impacts have continued, with workforce jumping to being the top issue for these hospitals; 88% in this survey ranked it as their foremost challenge. This crisis will not pass soon. Another 2022 national survey suggested that close to half the U.S. healthcare workforce planned to leave their current role within 2-3 years.
This panel will set the stage for this issue, and then feature two experienced health system CEOs who implemented innovative short-term strategies to mitigate these impacts, as well as longer-term innovations to bolster the capacity of their workforces. The session will also focus on the imperative to design and implement new care models to reduce demands on the hospital workforce. It will cover technical interventions as well as the cultural changes needed to build diverse, inclusive and vibrant organizations equipped to meet these challenges.
- Differentiate between strategies to mitigate the effects of acute burnout, versus interventions to increase the healthcare workforce pipeline.
- Recognize the roles of culture and work redesign in creating inclusive organizations that value the voices of all diverse members of the healthcare team.
Bruce Siegel, MD
Wendy Horton, PharmD, FACHE
Jacob Cintron, FACHE, PE