About 

The capacity and well-being of the U.S. health workforce has been under threat for years by an epidemic of burnout, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this systems issue. Now more nurses, physicians, and state and local public health department employees than ever are considering leaving their professions.

Recognizing that the function of the U.S. health system is at stake, the NAM released the National Plan for Health Workforce Well-Being in October 2022 to drive collective action to strengthen health workforce well-being and restore the health of the nation. 

Priority Areas 

The National Plan calls on multiple actors – including health care and public health leaders, government, payers, industry, educators, and leaders in other sectors – to help drive policy and systems change. See goals in the following priority areas to better support the health workforce and the health of all communities:

Create and sustain positive work and learning environments and culture

Transform health systems, health education, and training by prioritizing and investing in efforts to optimize environments that prevent and reduce burnout, foster professional well-being, and support quality care. 

Goal 1 Culture of well-being is integrated into program operations, human resource management, services, and curricula.

Goal 2 Settings are diverse, equitable, accessible, and inclusive.

Goal 3 Increased retention and decreased turnover of health workers.

Goal 4 Leadership recognizes negative impacts of health worker burnout and fosters a culture of well-being.

Goal 5 Accountability standards and best practices for well-being are adopted.

Related Resources:

Advance Organizational Commitment

Strengthen Leadership Behaviors

Conduct Workplace Assessment

Cultivate a Culture of Connection and Support

For additional resources, visit the NAM’s Resource Compendium for Health Care Worker Well-Being.

Invest in measurement, assessment, strategies, and research

Expand the uptake of existing tools at the health system level and advance national research on decreasing health worker burnout and improving well-being.

Goal 1 Burnout and well-being of health workers and learners, and the drivers of workplace stress, are routinely measured.

Goal 2 A national commitment is made to invest in research, strategies, and partnerships to improve health worker and learner well-being.

Related Resources:

Conduct Workplace Assessment

Strengthen Leadership Behaviors

For additional resources, visit the NAM’s Resource Compendium for Health Care Worker Well-Being.

Support mental health and reduce stigma

Provide support to health workers by eliminating barriers and reducing stigma associated with seeking services to address mental health challenges.

Goal 1 The mental health workforce is strengthened with increased numbers of practitioners.

Goal 2 Adequate mental health services are available, easily accessible, confidential, dignified, paid for, and health workers and learners are encouraged to use them.

Goal 3 Stigma and barriers are reduced for health workers and learners to disclose mental health issues and utilize mental health services.

Goal 4 Health workers and learners do not experience unnecessary punitive actions when seeking mental health services.

Goal 5 Access to mental health resources is correlated with improved health worker well-being.

Related Resources:

Cultivate a Culture of Connection and Support

For additional resources, visit the NAM’s Resource Compendium for Health Care Worker Well-Being.

Address compliance, regulatory, and policy barriers for daily work

Prevent and reduce the unnecessary burdens that stem from laws, regulations, policies, and standards placed on health workers.

Goal 1 Time spent on documentation is reduced to provide more time for meaningful professional activities and personal well-being.

Goal 2 Policies address hybrid, virtual, and in-person workflows to facilitate work-life integration and responsive patient care.

Goal 3 Prior authorization requirements are reimagined in a manner that places a focus on supporting quality patient care while also reducing unnecessary burden on health workers.

Goal 4 Requirements are streamlined for health workers to comply with regulations and policies.

Goal 5 Interstate practice is simplified and virtual services are easy for health workers and patients to use.

Related Resources:

Conduct Workplace Assessment

Enhance Workplace Efficiency

Examine Policies and Practices

For additional resources, visit the NAM’s Resource Compendium for Health Care Worker Well-Being.

Engage effective technology tools

Optimize and expand the use of health information technologies that support health workers in providing high-quality patient care and serving population health, and minimize technologies that inhibit clinical decision-making or add to administrative burden.

Goal 1 Health IT is user friendly and affordable, and meets standards co-designed with users.

Goal 2 Health IT is interoperable across disciplines and platforms to enhance team-based care and continuity of care.

Goal 3 Technology innovations improve both patient care and workload of health workers.

Goal 4 Technologies facilitate increased personal connections with patients.

Goal 5 The use of technology is understood and established as an enabler to streamline care.

Related Resources:

Enhance Workplace Efficiency

Strengthen Leadership Behaviors

For additional resources, visit the NAM’s Resource Compendium for Health Care Worker Well-Being.

Institutionalize well-being as a long-term value

Ensure COVID-19 recovery efforts address the toll on health worker well-being now and in the future, and bolster the public health and health care systems for future emergencies.

Goal 1 Health worker and learner well-being are prioritized, reflected in, and operationalized in strategic plans and core values.

Goal 2 The effects of COVID-19 on the well-being of the health workforce are addressed.

Goal 3 A strong and coordinated national public health infrastructure has a thriving public health workforce.

Related Resources:

Cultivate a Culture of Connection and Support

Advance Organizational Commitment

Strengthen Leadership Behaviors

For additional resources, visit the NAM’s Resource Compendium for Health Care Worker Well-Being.

Recruit and retain a diverse and inclusive health workforce

Promote careers in the health professions and increase pathways and systems for a diverse, inclusive, and thriving workforce.

Goal 1 The size and composition of the health workforce reflects the demand and diversity of the U.S. population.

Goal 2 The health system retains health workers who have personal caregiving responsibilities.

Goal 3 Health care environments are person-centered and safe for health workers.

Goal 4 Health workers have the infrastructure to support their work to improve population health.

Goal 5 Health workers and learners are inspired and equipped to meet the challenges of caring for the nation.

Related Resources:

Examine Policies and Practices

Strengthen Leadership Behaviors

For additional resources, visit the NAM’s Resource Compendium for Health Care Worker Well-Being.

Call to Action  

The National Plan builds on the foundation of six years of research and collaboration among NAM’s network of 200 organizations committed to reversing trends in health worker burnout. The National Plan is intended as a tool for all actors to take further evidence-based steps to improve the health system, with evaluation and accountability.

Improving health worker well-being is a shared responsibility that requires collective action by all actors of the U.S. health system and those who influence health. Together, we can support a coordinated national movement for health workforce well-being. The NAM looks forward to working with change makers to set commitments and support efforts to take up the National Plan.

Watch video about National Commitments to the Health Workforce Well-Being Movement

Supporting the Launch of the National Plan  

A draft of the National Plan was made available for public feedback and received nearly 2,000 comments. To date 50 organizations have endorsed the final publication representing the diverse organizational membership of the Clinician Well-Being Collaborative and the various actors committed to advancing the National Plan’s actions. Thank you to the following organizations for demonstrating their early support of the National Plan!

UAB Medicine

Disclaimer: This page includes logos of other public and/or private organizations that are in no way under the control of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) or the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM). Inclusion of the logos does not imply or constitute an endorsement or promotion by NAM or NASEM of any organizations. Neither NAM nor NASEM are responsible in any way for any content, advertising, products, services or information on or available from the organizations.

Which priority area are you most excited to start advancing?
Which actor group do you most identify with?

Questions? Contact us at ClinicianWellBeing@nas.edu

 

If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.

 


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