Healthcare workers are the foundation of our medical system, yet they face increasing challenges. Toxic interactions with patients, heavy workloads, administrative burdens, and the list goes on. There is no question about it – facilities must be better at supporting healthcare teams. But how? 

This is not about platitudes – healthcare employers must enact proven solutions to ensure staff safety, restore passion for the healing profession, and remove roadblocks to providing quality patient care. While this type of systemic change takes time, progress begins simply: by listening. 

It is the responsibility of healthcare leadership to provide their employees with the support and resources they need to perform their jobs effectively. This includes advocating for them when they face challenges with patients, workload, and more. Not only will this improve the work environment, but it will also help facilities retain their best employees while improving the patient experience. 

Dealing with Toxic Patients

One significant stressor for healthcare workers is encountering hostile or abusive patients and family members. This type of toxic behavior can deeply affect the wellbeing of the staff, which can impact the quality of patient care. 

To better support healthcare teams, facilities must have procedures in place to protect their employees from verbal and physical threats. This includes training on de-escalation techniques, clear policies on removing disruptive individuals, and providing counseling support after incidents occur. Healthcare employers must clearly state they will not tolerate abusive language or actions.

Easing Administrative Workload

The amount of documentation and administrative tasks in healthcare has grown exponentially. While necessary, this takes time away from direct patient care, a key source of frustration for many healthcare professionals.

It is important for healthcare facilities and clinics to find ways to simplify workflows, automate repetitive processes, and remove redundancies wherever possible. Regularly consulting with frontline staff can help identify where administrative burdens can be lifted. Employers should also continue to lobby for reforms to reduce unnecessary healthcare documentation requirements.

Improving Clinical Efficiencies

There are many opportunities to make clinical operations more time- and cost-effective, without sacrificing quality of care. This may include ensuring all care protocols are standardized, optimizing technician and nurse staffing ratios, utilizing telehealth, monitoring key performance metrics, and more. Healthcare teams have valuable insights on where workflows can be smoothed out and waste eliminated, so their input should be routinely sought out. Efficiencies should never come at the cost of rushing caregivers or prioritizing speed over patient needs.

Supporting healthcare staff is crucial for a healthy workplace – for both employees, management, and patients. Advocating for healthcare teams means creating a safe work environment, providing proper resources and training, listening to and acting on feedback, and continuously looking for ways to improve processes.

Healthcare employees are the most valuable assets for any facility, and are empowered to provide the very best care for their patients when they feel supported.

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