A High-Reliability Organization (HRO) is an organization with a culture of excellence through continuous improvement. It focuses on identifying and eliminating risks through collaboration with all stakeholders. HROs can predictably and quickly recover from disruptions. There is a growing demand among hospitals and healthcare providers for high-reliability services. The need for affordable and accessible healthcare is consistently rising, while health professionals face various challenges in their day-to-day work. High-reliability principles and a focus on people can make healthcare safer for patients and those who work in the field.
Learn how Healing Breaths can help your hospital or healthcare institution address staff burnout issues, promote a culture of well-being, and improve team cohesiveness.
Taking a human-centric approach to care delivery
The traditional model of care is giving way to a more holistic, human-centric approach. Preventative maintenance, health education, and lifestyle counseling are becoming increasingly important in delivering healthcare. This is because they are effective at keeping people healthy rather than just treating them when they are sick. Taking a human-centric approach to healthcare delivery is crucial in moving the needle on population health because it promotes the critical role of health professionals as communicators and advocates for patients. These heroes also attempt to provide patients with the tools necessary to be proactive partners in their healthcare.
The health industry must continually be mindful that all healthcare workers are patients to some other healthcare professionals. That awareness means thinking about how to provide people with the support they need to make healthy choices. By prioritizing the human-centric approach and attention to medical workers’ needs, healthcare for the general public will improve qualitatively. One of the key means of helping people avoid errors in their care is to be more attentive to the staff that cares for them. A viable approach may be a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods of monitoring and evaluating workers’ emotional health.
Top-down organizational policy and leaders’ advocacy can support safety cultures significantly. Those with less authority in the medical field may pay the price if they challenge or ask favors of those with greater power. Workers with less ability to choose which path to take must weigh the costs of a challenge to management against the associated costs of withholding communication of potentially corrective input. By actively listening and engaging with people, we can avoid designing programs that will ultimately fail.
Promoting a culture of acceptance and openness at work is vital, which is especially important in high-risk and stressful environments like clinics and hospitals. Healthcare professionals must feel valued by their employers when the group succeeds and even when they fail. Leadership styles that encourage employees’ participation will foster an open environment.
When it comes to patient care, a happy and healthy workforce can oscillate between implicit and explicit coordination with ease. The more attentive one is to the workers in their field, the more likely they will be alert to the people they are helping. It’s not only the responsibility of management to drive these cultural changes, but also every employee should be responsible for their emotional health.
Recognizing how competing priorities impact health workers
It is widely recognized that healthcare workers are under immense pressure to deliver high-quality care while juggling various competing priorities. It can be awful when these priorities often pull them in different directions simultaneously. It’s not surprising how this constant tug-of-war can lead to feelings of frustration and overwhelm that could impact their ability to contribute effectively to an organization’s culture of excellence.
There are several ways that healthcare workers can help manage their competing priorities and remain focused on their goals. Identifying your top priorities and developing a plan to achieve them is one of the most important steps managers can take to maintain high-reliability principles. Providing an engaging, supportive work environment where employees feel appreciated, empowered, and challenged is critical to retaining top talent.
Leaders should also be prepared to address any issues affecting healthcare worker safety or performance. These include identifying your top priorities and developing a plan to achieve them. Other factors impacting the workforce’s ability to be reliable may include workload-related stress and fatigue, inadequate sleep patterns, poor self-care, and lack of morale. It is essential to identify and acknowledge the impact of competing priorities on healthcare workers’ ability to contribute to a culture of excellence in an effective HRO.
As team-based healthcare models become the norm, some of the fastest-growing healthcare jobs are expected to have robust job growth by 2030, according to the Department of Labor. Better retention and engagement among the health workforce is one universal priority requiring a multifaceted undertaking, which stakeholders can’t risk overshadowing. Leaders should also be prepared to address healthcare worker safety or performance issues, such as burnout, compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma or anxiety, depression, and stress. Burnout and fatigue can impact patient safety and may lead to decreased patient satisfaction and increased errors in medical records. An organization’s overall performance will improve when it can spot and deal with these problems as soon as possible.
Healing begins within, and self-care practices such as SKY Program have benefited thousands of healthcare workers. Healing Breaths’ evidence-based workshops have demonstrated a reduction in anxiety, depression, and cortisol levels while improving deep sleep. Talk to our wellness specialist about self-care programs and how they help health professionals feel better immediately and in the long term.
How the workforce contributes to a culture of excellence despite the impact of problems
Physicians, nurses, assistants, and other medical professionals must work within a complex system that often leaves them overwhelmed and overworked. Many healthcare workers are underpaid and exhausted. However, many believe health workers’ work environments, salaries, and responsibilities are equitable. While many medical personnel have an efficient allocation of pay, duties, resources, and work culture, many others work tirelessly with their credentials, skills, and tenure under disproportionate obligations. Human capital, resiliency, professional development, and emotional support are all at risk in these scenarios.
Finding ways to support employees is critical to their intrinsic motivation, human-centered focus, and pursuit of perpetual excellence.
While staff shortages caused by layoffs, people quitting, and retirements can be cost-intensive in terms of recruitment and training, the price that workers must pay is steeper. These heroic individuals forsake self-care, and some give their lives. The repercussions can jeopardize the organization’s overarching ability to maintain reliability, patient safety, and the well-being of the community’s essential healing workers.
According to the Stanford Model of Professional Fulfillment™, an organization’s commitment to promoting a culture of wellness and efficiency of practice is just as important as the personal resilience of its employees. Each dimension comprises values and actions that encourage self-care, professional growth, and kindness to others.
In the next decade, nurses will face many challenges. We must address an aging population’s expanding and more complex medical needs, meet the growing demand for greater primary care capacity, and combine medical care with social components that affect people’s health and welfare. Health systems, governments, educators, and payers can accelerate, standardize, and sustainably adopt reforms. Layoffs and furloughs have cut nursing staffing at numerous hospitals. This might permanently harm nursing and the healthcare system. Recruiting more nurses and improving retention are the two main approaches that can be used to address this problem. Improving retention among current nurses is an expensive and time-consuming process. It requires improved workplace training, more effective recruitment methods, and better compensation packages.
The physician workforce problem is a critical issue in the healthcare industry. According to AAMC research, by 2023, the United States will lose between 54,100 and 139,000 doctors. Many physicians are accelerating as opposed to delaying retirement or choosing to work fewer hours because of burnout and other issues. In addition to struggling to recruit and retain top-quality physicians and current staff with interest shifts in specialized fields, health systems also have difficulty maintaining high quality and patient safety levels. To combat many of these obstacles, healthcare organizations (HCOs) may consider changes, like incentivized performance-based pay for physicians meeting specific standards, peer support counseling programs, and advocacy.
There is a growing need for healthcare professionals to “do more with less.” A vicious cycle of burnout increases absenteeism and turnover when personnel levels are low. Organizations are rapidly adopting human capital management technology. With this comes the responsibility of learning how it may be used to boost the emotional well-being of employees. A practical method is to streamline the scheduling and workforce management processes to lessen the administrative load on clinical personnel. Sentiment analysis, which uses analytics to find patterns in how workers feel, and pulse surveys are two more ways to improve healthcare workers’ mental health.
Critical strategies for maintaining high reliability in healthcare
Improving patient safety takes more than just competent staff and well-designed policies and procedures. The Institute of Medicine’s report “To Err is Human” emphasizes the importance of establishing safe cultures. An organization must implement a secure and fair method for anonymously reporting internal errors. Schools could start incorporating ideas on dealing with human error into the curriculum, which could help change negative views of doctors and other medical professionals who say they made mistakes.
The Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare believes strongly in the possibility of high reliability in healthcare. Its constructive fabric comprises three paramount domains of transformation that postulate how leaders committed to the goal of zero harm foster a workplace in which everyone feels safe speaking up when they see anything that might hurt the company. The framework areas can work in any healthcare setting, no matter how big or small the organization or its culture.
Leaders who provide the resources and knowledge needed to achieve zero harm, human-centered care for patients, and “healthcare workers as patients” inspire workers to report incidents. They feel valued, respected, and comfortable suggesting changes, reducing errors, and improving care. When decision-makers use these transformative potentials in a multifaceted way to promote the well-being of health professionals and the community, high reliability becomes sustainable and inseparable from progressive healthcare at all levels.
Healing Breaths highlights the need for professional healers to maintain wellness. Many healthcare workers show a rapid decline in burnout in just 3 days after taking our program. Contact us today to learn how we are helping hospitals and healthcare institutions promote a culture of wellness and improve team cohesiveness.