In the newest Women in Healthcare Leadership podcast episode, Amy Compton-Phillips shares Seattle-based health system Providence’s COVID-19 learnings, how to improve patient safety and quality, and offers leadership advice.
The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted workforce shortages at health systems and hospitals across the country. On Sept. 1, the American Nurses Association urged the federal Department of Health & Human Services to declare a nurse staffing crisis and to take immediate steps to implement solutions. Last week, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health announced that the Lebanon, New Hampshire-based health system had raised its minimum rate of pay for all positions from $14 per hour to $17 per hour to address workforce shortages.
The past year has disrupted the normal cycle of planning and execution. Checkups and elective procedures were down during COVID-19, and now that case numbers are returning to pre-pandemic levels, there is the potential for a surge in volumes. The low volumes during COVID-19 will average together with the higher volumes as people emerge from the pandemic. From a planning perspective, things will likely return to the trajectory they were on a year ago.
The Family Presence Policy Decision-Making Toolkit for Nurse Leaders, a free resource, was developed by a stakeholder group consisting of nurses, healthcare executives, quality and safety experts, and patients and family caregivers convened by Planetree International, a not-for-profit organization that partners with healthcare organizations to create cultures of person-centered care.
The study originated before the pandemic began, and was focused on responding better to disasters and catastrophes in general. Once the pandemic struck, “we realized that we needed to expand the scope of what we were doing, and to bring in even more expert voices,” said Mary R. Grealey, president of the HLC.
Senior-level opportunities are available despite an ongoing registered nurse (RN) shortage that, according to the United States Registered Nurse Workforce Report Card and Shortage Forecast: A Revisit published in the May/June 2018 issue of the American Journal of Medical Quality, is projected to spread across the country between 2016 and 2030.
Nurse leaders throughout the nation were advocating with the U.S. government to loosen the restrictions on nurse licensure requirements from state to state so that nurses from the Midwest who weren’t being immediately affected by the pandemic could go to New York and help, for example.
A survey of 300 full-time nurses conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of University of Phoenix between July 30 and August 11 found that 73% said that they had taken on more leadership responsibility since the beginning of the pandemic. Further, 78% reported feeling like other staff members looked to them as leaders.
Last week, Liselotte “Lotte” Dyrbye, MD, MHPE, a professor of medicine and medical education at Rochester, Minnesota–based Mayo Clinic, was one of the keynote speakers at the second national Summit on Promoting Well-Being and Resilience in Healthcare Professionals. In her presentation, Dyrbye said there are at least 14 methods to address healthcare worker burnout.
The consolidation trend will demand strong leadership from physicians at the helm of these evolving models—as well as physician employees who want to drive their practice toward best practices for navigating future challenges.