March 27, 2024

CDC releases ‘hospital-tested’ guide to combat worker burnout

Editor's Note

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), of the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is releasing an innovative, hospital-tested guide aimed at addressing and mitigating healthcare worker burnout, a CDC March 18 press release reports. This initiative is a cornerstone of the Impact Wellbeing™ Campaign, the first federal endeavor specifically designed to tackle this issue.

The campaign, which started in October 2023, is introducing the Impact Wellbeing™ Guide as a tangible tool for hospital leaders nationwide, offering a systematic approach to enhancing healthcare worker wellbeing through organizational changes. The guide, developed in collaboration with the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation, is based on the principles of Total Worker Health® and is structured around six actionable steps. These steps are designed to help hospital executives make significant and rapid improvements in the workplace, considering the challenges of implementing such initiatives in terms of time, cost, and staffing.

Key highlights from the guide include:

  • conducting an operational review to support professional well-being
  • forming a team dedicated to promoting professional well-being
  • eliminating barriers to care, such as problematic mental health inquiries in credentialing
  • developing communication tools to update the workforce on wellbeing initiatives
  • integrating wellbeing measures into quality improvement projects
  • crafting a 12-month plan to advance professional wellbeing efforts.

The effort comes in response to a mental health crisis among healthcare workers, leading to increased risk of burnout and early exit from the profession. The guide was piloted in six US hospitals, in partnership with CommonSpirit Health, to refine its effectiveness and ease of implementation.

CDC/NIOSH plans to host a webinar series starting in late April 2024 to aid hospital leaders in implementing the guide. "The goal is for participating hospitals to start implementing the Guide immediately after the webinar series," noted the press release.

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