HWRC Resources

Each of the health workforce research centers (HWRCs) across the US are involved in COVID-19 response efforts. We will be continually updating this page as new resources are developed.

(09/13/21) COVID-19 County Workforce Deficit Estimator
An updated tool from the Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity at the George Washington University and partners seeks to highlight hospital workforce strain at the county level throughout the United States.

(08/01/21) The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on California’s Registered Nurse Workforce: Preliminary Data
This report reviews the supply and demand of registered nurses in California and how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the nursing workforce.

(06/01/21) Health Care Workforce Playbooks and the COVID-19 Pandemic
This research brief describes a series of playbooks, developed by the North Carolina Health Workforce Research Center and a team from the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) program, that provide health care systems, states, the federal government, and other stakeholders with updated, state-of-the-art resources to promote local flexibility to respond to workforce challenges and shortages during the pandemic and beyond.

(06/01/21) The Clinical Laboratory Workforce in the US: Supply, Distribution, Education Pathways, and State Responses to the COVID-19 Emergency
This policy brief focuses on 6 clinical lab occupations (medical laboratory assistants, phlebotomists, histotechnicians, histotechnologists, medical laboratory technicians, and medical laboratory scientists) to provide a better understanding of the clinical laboratory workforce, as well as state responses to the pandemic for this workforce.

(05/03/21) Telebehavioral Health Workforce Opportunities During the COVID-19 Pandemic
This report from the Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center at the University of Michigan School of Public Health focuses on the behavioral health workforce development opportunities resulting from the widespread, rapid adoption of telebehavioral health services.

(05/01/21) COVID-19’s Effect on the Employment Status of Health Care Workers
This brief defines the range of work statuses that one can hold, identifies areas where overlap may create confusion, and discusses the potential long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on employment in the health care industry.

(03/15/21) State Responses to Address Workforce Needs in the Initial Wave of the Pandemic
This research brief summarizes findings on how states prepared for and responded to the pandemic. Themes include regulatory flexibility, surge capacity for acute care services, and impacts on both ambulatory care services and the health professions educational pipeline.

(03/12/21) Emergency Vaccinator Policies for COVID-19
This interactive map continually tracks state-level emergency policies that expand the ability of specific groups to administer COVID-19 vaccines.

(01/01/21) Identifying Systems-level Factors That Influence Workforce Capacity and Effectiveness
This report investigates systems-level factors and service delivery following COVID-19-related state and federal regulatory changes and their impact on behavioral health workforce capacity. Results of this study can inform future behavioral health workforce planning efforts, specifically around identifying and removing barriers to maximizing workforce capacity.

(11/09/20) The Challenge in Tracking Unemployment Among Health Care Workers and Why It Matters
A journal article published in JAMA from researchers at the University of Washington Center for Health Workforce Studies explains the difficulties associated with tracking unemployment in health care workers. The authors describe how having accurate data on the health workforce is essential to direct policy and can help produce better results for health care providers and their patients.

George Washington University Mullan Institute COVID-19 Webinar Series:
(05/18/20) Ensuring Access to Oral Care
(05/11/20) Data Tool to Calculate Contact Tracer Workforce Need
See all webinars here
The George Washington University Mullan Institute is hosting a webinar series regarding emergency health workforce policies to address COVID-19.

(05/06/20) Mullan Institute Contact Tracing Workforce Estimator
The Fitzhugh Mullan Institute For Health Workforce Equity has developed a Contact Tracing Workforce Estimator. This tool will help state and local health departments in determining the number of contact tracers needed to trace the contacts of those diagnosed with COVID-19, helping to slow the spread of the virus.

(04/22/20) COVID-19 News and Reports
A web page covering the multiple activities and projects regarding the health workforce and COVID-19 currently being undertaken by the University of Washington Center for Health Workforce Studies. This page is being updated regularly to highlight important changes for the health workforce in response to COVID-19.

(04/20/20) Emerging Health Workforce Strategies To Address COVID-19
State city, and local health care organizations are also quickly implementing a number of health workforce strategies to address or prepare for increasing COVID-19 demand. This blog post discusses strategies that fall into two general categories that help to maximize and expand the current health workforce during the pandemic.

(04/17/20) State Health Workforce Deficit Estimator
The Fitzhugh Mullan Institute For Health Workforce Equity has developed a State Health Workforce Estimator, an interactive tool that estimates the need for hospital based health care workers using surge staffing ratios, under different scenarios of COVID-19 patients’ demand and health worker attrition, by state and by profession. The purpose of these estimates is to help state and federal decision makers plan for spikes in demand by anticipating potential shortfalls of key personnel, such as respiratory therapists and intensivists, among others. The estimates may be used to consider re-deployment within health care organizations, as well as with in and across states. They may also help inform emergency health workforce policies, such as expansion of scope of practice regulations and expedited professional licensing.

(04/14/20) Webinar Series: Emergency Health Workforce Policies to Address COVID-19
The Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity has developed a pre-recorded mini webinar series to examine Emergency Workforce Policies to Address COVID-19.  One of the greatest risks of COVID-19 is that inadequate PPE and understaffing of frontline health workers will lead to severe fatigue and low morale, which, in turn, will further exacerbate attrition. This webinar series will focus on actions that we can take now to avoid entering a vicious cycle of staffing shortages.

(04/08/20) Ensuring and Sustaining a Pandemic Workforce
Leaders of federally funded and privately funded health workforce research centers came together to raise issues that must be addressed to ensure that we have the workforce we need to care for patients with COVID-19.

(04/08/20) COVID-19 Response and Blogs
Sheps Health Workforce NC is providing data on their blog about the availability of needed health professionals in the current pandemic. Stay up to date on their blog as they add more about various specialties and health professions.

(04/03/20) HWRC Research Activities to Address Workforce Needs During COVID-19 Pandemic
The Health Workforce Research Centers (HWRCs) supported by the Health Services and Resources Administration (HRSA) have provided assistance to states and other stakeholders to better inform workforce strategies. This resource brief offers summaries of contributions by the HWRCs to efforts in developing effective workforce strategies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

(03/31/20) How Many Health Care Workers Are at Risk of Being Sacrificed to COVID-19 in the US?
A blog that estimates how many health care workers are at risk of testing positive for COVID and dying from the disease. The article also examines which healthcare settings and occupations might experience the greatest loss.

(03/31/20) There Are Not Nearly Enough Nurses To Handle The Surge Of Coronavirus Patients: Here’s How To Close the Gap Quickly 
A blog that discusses strategies to lessen nurse shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some strategies discussed to close the gap are: incentivize nurses to serve in the most affected areas, reactivate licenses and allow nurses to practice across state lines, leverage the skill of nursing students, and relax scope of practice and oversight laws.

(03/31/20) The Respiratory Therapist Workforce in the U.S. Supply, Distribution, Education Pathways, and State Responses to Emergency Surges in Demand
This Rapid Response Brief from the Center for Health Workforce Studies at the University of Washington provides information about the respiratory therapist workforce in the US. It includes descriptions of the supply, distribution, and education pathways of the workforce. The brief also addresses COVID-19 emergency concerns about the respiratory therapist workforce capacity and examples of state approaches to address workforce gaps.

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