CDC releases hospital guide to curb burnout: 6 steps

The CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has published an evidence-based guide to support hospital leaders in crafting a well-being strategy for their employees. 

The six-step guide was published March 18 as part of the first federal campaign focused on combating burnout among healthcare workers and is structured to support "organizational-level changes that will impact and improve the mental health of their employees," the agency said in a news release about the new guide. 

The "Impact Wellbeing Guide: Taking Action to Improve Healthcare Worker Wellbeing" is based on six steps that were pilot-tested and refined by a working group of six CommonSpirit Health hospitals in the last six months of 2023. 

Six key steps outlined in the guide: 

  • Conduct a review of hospital operations to determine how they support professional well-being. 
  • Build a dedicated team to support professional well-being.
  • Remove barriers to seeking care, such as intrusive mental health questions on credentialing applications.
  • Create a suite of communication tools meant to share updates with the workforce about the organization's journey to improve well-being. 
  • Integrate professional well-being measures into an ongoing quality improvement project. 
  • Create a 12-month plan to continue to advance efforts on professional well-being. 

The guide comes as burnout levels remain high across the industry. Nearly half of physician respondents indicated they were burned out in Medscape's 2024 report on burnout and depression. Fifty-six percent of nurse respondents reported experiencing symptoms of burnout in a McKinsey & Co. survey last spring, which was published in November. Meanwhile, bills meant to bolster protection for hospital workers and support their mental health are receiving growing recognition in Congress. 

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