Plan identifies action items to improve workforce well-being

U.S. healthcare needs to prioritize positive working environments and culture, support mental health, and fight to reduce the associated stigma to reduce the potential loss of workers, according to an Oct. 18 report from the California Medical Association.

At least 40 percent of nurses, 20 percent of physicians, and 25 percent of state and local public health department employees are considering leaving their profession, according to the report. 

To address this trend, the National Academy of Medicine launched the National Plan for Health Workforce Well-Being to mitigate the negative impact on the U.S. health system. The plan demonstrates that investment in healthcare workers' well-being must come from multiple levels.

"Even before the COVID-19 crisis began, our health workforce had to meet extraordinary and overwhelming challenges. As we now rebuild and recover from the pandemic, we owe health workers a debt of action. If we fail to address burnout and ensure health workers have the support and resources they need, then the consequences will be felt by everyone who relies on the health care system," said Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD. 

The National Plan identifies specific, near-term actions to achieve the following priorities:

  • Create and sustain positive work and learning environments and culture.
  • Invest in measurement, assessment, strategies, and research.
  • Support mental health and reduce stigma.
  • Address compliance, regulatory, and policy barriers for daily work.
  • Engage in effective technology tools.
  • Institutionalize well-being as a long-term value.
  • Recruit and retain a diverse and inclusive health workforce.

Access the full National Plan for Health Workforce Well-Being here.

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