Weekly Updates

6/22-7/5 Updates

Health Workforce Shortages

A severe staffing crisis causes nursing home facilities to cut back on new admissions.

Long-term care facilities are experiencing slower workforce recovery compared to other health care sectors.

A new article examines emerging technologies that can help ease administrative burdens for healthcare workers.

New state and federal policy solutions could prevent workforce losses and increase the supply of qualified nurses.

Health Workforce Shortages

(7/5/22) How Natural Language Processing Can Help Relieve the Healthcare Worker Shortage
The COVID-19 pandemic is a significant contributing factor to the 18 million global healthcare worker shortage predicted by 2030. This article discusses how emerging technologies can potentially serve the needs of healthcare workers by easing administrative burdens. Potential technologies explored include: using algorithms and natural language processing collect to relevant medical records, using algorithms to predict patient flow to help determine staffing needs, and leveraging artificial intelligence to identify social determinants of health by geographic area.

(06/30/22) Policy Strategies for Addressing Current Threats to the US Nursing Workforce
An article published in the New England Journal of Medicineprescribes policy strategies for tackling the shortages in the US nursing workforce, which is a result of unsafe and stressful work environments in hospitals during the pandemic. The Federal and State policy recommendations are 2-pronged: preventing the loss of current workforce and increasing the supply of qualified nurses. The recommendations include but are not limited to: rules for safe staffing ratios, penalties for exceeding safe workloads, funding and incentives to improve safety, promoting nursing education through loan forgiveness, and investment in nurse education and legislations to remove restrictive regulations.

(06/28/22) Staffing Shortages Have US Nursing Homes in Crisis
A severe staffing crisis has caused nursing home facilities to cut back on new admissions, according to a survey conducted by the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living(AHCA/NCAL). 

(6/27/22) Assisted Living, CCRC Workforce Recovery Among Slowest in Healthcare: NIC
According to a new report from the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care, assisted living communities, continuing care retirement communities, and skilled nursing facilities are facing among the slowest workforce recovery in healthcare. One positive finding from the report is that assisted living and CCRC sectors saw moderate employment increases (between 0.8% and 1.8%) respectively, but figures still remain well below the pre-pandemic employment levels.

Health Workforce Resilience

A new algorithm applied to routine blood lab tests is being used for screening health care workers with COVID-19 related complaints, with results available within 1 hour.

New research in England finds that nurses and midwives feel “forever altered” by the COVID-19 pandemic, experiencing burnout, high levels of moral distress, and PTSD.

A new AMA resource features 7 key recommendations to help institutions support medical educators.

The American Hospital Association (AHA) released a new report, “Strengthening the Health Care Workforce,” the first in a 3-part series to help hospitals and health systems develop workforce strategies to deal with the effects of the pandemic.

New research assesses how burnout is impacting health care workers.

A new study explores the experiences of nurses and respiratory therapists working in COVID-19 ICUs during the first surge of the pandemic.

Health Workforce Resilience

(06/28/22) CoLab Algorithm Shows Promising Results in Efficient Screening of Health Care Workers with COVID Complaints
A study published in the peer reviewed journal PLOS ONE has demonstrated the successful use of the CoLab algorithm for efficient screening of health care workers (HCWs) with COVID-19 complaints. Unlike the usual SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test which uses nasal and oral swabs, the CoLab algorithm is run using parameters obtained after analyzing blood samples, which give a CoLab score within one hour of collecting the samples. The study conducted on 726 HCWs showed that this methodology missed none of the 42 positive COVID-19 cases detected by RT-PCR, showing a sensitivity of 100%, and also ruled out COVID-19 in more than one-third of the 684 negative cases, showing a specificity of 34%. This has significant implications as those 34% workers could return to work much faster and the labor and reagent costs involved in RT-PCR tests could be saved.

(06/28/22) Nurses and Midwives Feel Forever Altered by the Impact of COVID-19, Reports Study
New research from the University of Surrey finds that in England, nurses and midwives feel “forever altered” by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers assessing the impact of the pandemic on nurses in the UK, call for a national COVID-19 nursing workforce recovery strategy to help retain nurses and create a psychologically safe working environment to help with stress, burnout, and physical exhaustion.

(06/28/22) How to Help Medical Educators Further Stretched by COVID-19
A new AMA resource, with organizational steps to support medical educators, features 7 key recommendations to help institutions support educators as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. These recommendations include: monitor and support well-being of educators as well as learners, refine workflows to support educational interactions, protect time for educational activities, provide ongoing training, nurture educator career advancement, build educational surge capacity, and advocate for systems change both locally and nationally.

(06/22/2022) AHA Report Helps Hospital and Health System Leaders Address Workforce Challenges
The American Hospital Association (AHA) last week released Strengthening the Health Care Workforce, the first of a 3-part series “to help hospital and health system leaders develop immediate, near- and long-term workforce strategies providing key considerations and questions to drive action, as well as resources and case studies.” The first installment’s focuses include addressing well-being, supporting behavioral health, and workplace violence prevention.

(06/22/2022) How Burnout Impacts Healthcare Workers
The Covid-19 pandemic added new stressors and intensified the existing causes of burnout among healthcare workers. This article, published in Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare, explores some of those underlying stressors and identifies changes to workplace culture that can help prevent burnout.

(06/22/2022) The Changing Nature of Work: The Impact of COVID-19 on Our Health Care Workforce (VIDEO)
This video presentation is from Dr. Lotte Dyrbye, the key note presenter for the 2022 NORA symposium. Her presentation, “Strategies to Address Burnout Among Clinicians,” includes new information on “the prevalence of burnout and potential contributors, the consequences of burnout, and individual as well as organizational strategies to enhance clinician well-being.”

(06/17/2022) Experiences of Moral Distress in A COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit: a Qualitative Study of Nurses and Respiratory Therapists in the United States
By using a qualitative research method, this article, published in Nursing Inquiry, explores the experience of nurses and respiratory therapists working in the COVID-19 ICUs in the Northeastern United States during the first surge of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their experiences focuses on 5 aspects: a fear of the unknown, concerns about infection, perceived professional unpreparedness, isolation and alienation, and inescapable stress and distress.