We often refer to patient-centered care, but what about the professionals who make it all possible?
Research shows that physician and staff satisfaction affects care. Working on the well-being of professional and non-professional staff is essential to maintaining the highest standard of care.
Prioritizing the Well-Being of Healthcare Staff
When each staff member knows their role and performs their tasks well, healthcare organizations are at their best. Staff do not have to worry about being pushed beyond their limits and forced to work through high levels of stress.
Healthy workplaces breed fulfillment, productivity, and collaboration. People are engaged in their work because they enjoy it; they’re energetic and alert. Their enthusiasm influences the people around them.
By prioritizing staff feedback, you can get a first-hand look at where your organization needs the most care. It’s best to get to the heart of the matter rather than make cosmetic changes that conceal the significant points of concern.
Create opportunities for your staff to share their thoughts, struggles, and values and welcome support for mental health – which can drastically improve retention rates.
Empower healthcare professionals by increasing the number of shift choices and listening to their voices. This will help improve job satisfaction and reduce burnout.
Maintaining Excellent Patient Care
As you strive to improve your healthcare staff’s well-being, do not overlook patient care. Some organizations struggle to balance staff improvement initiatives with consistent excellence in patient care.
How do you support exhausted nurses to do the work without risking burnout? How do you help compassion-drained physicians to care for their patients without compromising their mental well-being?
These questions aren’t easy to answer and deal with a reality all too common in healthcare.
Understanding the relationship between clinician mental health and patient care is the surest way to protect patients and staff alike. It is critical to recognize the warning signs of burnout, to offer timely reprieve, and to search for and eliminate the causes of intolerable stress.
Compassionate communication is key to high-quality patient care and helps reduce emotional stress for staff. When patients experience an adverse event and suffer unanticipated harm, the staff involved in their care suffer psychological trauma described as the second victim phenomenon.
To optimize patient care and staff well-being, you should:
- Make the clinical environment supportive and welcoming
- Streamline administrative processes
- Minimize wait times as much as possible
- Prioritize transparent communication, including notifications about delays
- Ensure access to the best tools and resources
How to Balance Staff Well-Being with Patient Care
It’s essential to harmonize staff and patient care needs. Avoid placing too many demands on staff if you do not wish patient care to deteriorate due to fatigue-related errors. Conversely, focusing on the care provided and ignoring staff’s personal needs can lead to anxiety, depression, disengagement from their jobs, and eventually burnout.
A proactive approach to creating balance requires establishing best practices and protocols, providing the right resources, offering dynamic shifts, and providing easy access to mental health care when necessary.
Research shows that higher stress leads to more adverse events. Even minor incidents can harm a patient and affect the morale of a physician or nurse. Educate your staff on healthcare, encourage familiarity with self-care handbooks, and offer easy access to therapy whenever needed.
And most importantly, always be present. In-person rounds, group meetings, and an open-door policy help you learn where people are struggling and to pre-emptively find effective solutions.
Why Maintaining This Balance is Crucial
Everyone suffers when there is no integration between patient and staff’s needs. Practitioners feel stressed, anxious, and even guilty because of their inability to fully attend to their patients. Alternatively, employees emotionally disengage from their work and only go through the motions enough to get through the day. This is the phenomenon described as “quiet quitting”.
Dedicating time, resources, and energy to striking a balance between staff’s and patients’ needs has immediate and long-term benefits.
Short-term vs. Long-term
In the short term, improved staff wellbeing leads to greater engagement in the workplace and fewer errors. Patients have a better experience when cared for by a doctor or nurse who is happy with their job.
In the long term, prioritizing staff wellbeing leads to higher job satisfaction, improved outcomes, lower turnover rates, and even better financial performance,
Get Started Now
If you would like to learn more about improving staff well-being in healthcare at all levels, I would be happy to help. Please reach out so we can discuss how to support your staff and patients.