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Hospital Employee Health – September 1, 2019

September 1, 2019

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  • Physician Burnout: Seeking Resilience in a Broken System

    Healthcare facilities and employee health professionals have responded to an epidemic of physician burnout with programs to build resiliency, such as yoga and mindfulness meditation. However, even advocates of these approaches say they are not a panacea, as larger system-level problems are driving physician frustration and subsequent burnout.

  • The Joint Commission: Preventing Nursing Burnout

    The Joint Commission (TJC) has identified nurse staffing, recruitment, and retention as “priorities for further evaluation in the coming year” to prevent nursing burnout. TJC recently issued a Quick Safety alert, emphasizing that nursing burnout can worsen patient outcomes, including mortality. The report cited a 2017 literature review on preventing nursing burnout that identified six studies, representing 3,248 nurses worldwide. These studies revealed that the most common factors related to burnout are exclusion from the decision-making process, the need for greater autonomy, security risks, and staffing issues.

  • WHO Declares Ebola Outbreak an International Emergency

    The World Health Organization (WHO) recently declared an international health emergency for the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a case appeared in a highly populated city with global air travel. In declaring an international emergency, the WHO is calling for international aid and assistance while emphasizing that it would be counterproductive to shut down travel to the region.

  • Healthcare Workers at Risk of Slips, Trips, and Falls

    In a study that has implications for preventing slip injuries in healthcare, researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that wearing slip-resistant shoes dramatically reduced workers’ compensation claims for school food service workers. The study included some 17,000 food service workers from 226 school districts.

  • Quantifying the Occupational Risk of Tuberculosis

    The CDC published data on the level of tuberculosis in healthcare workers, which was used in part to support the recent recommendations to drop routine annual TB testing in the absence of an exposure or ongoing transmission. The epidemiology has shifted, with workers coming from countries endemic for TB much more likely to manifest later symptoms. Although it must be underscored that there still is TB in the United States, healthcare workers are not at the risk they once were.