It has long been acknowledged that the backbone of the healthcare system consists of a strong, caring and resilient workforce. Healthcare workers play a pivotal role in ensuring the success of a hospital and, more importantly, in providing the best possible care to patients.
However, in recent years, the healthcare workforce has faced significant challenges and pressures, leading to many quitting due to burnout, long hours, heavy patient caseloads, and personal health concerns.
The ongoing shortage of healthcare workers is a persistent issue that appears to be worsening. Hospitals and long-term care facilities continue to see older staff retire and others leave their positions. The outcomes are consistent – a shortage of healthcare services results in a decrease in the quality of healthcare.
To address this problem, sustainable investments in the healthcare workforce and improving working conditions are imperative. These measures are essential for retaining the health workforce and restoring their trust in the system. It is evident that we need a new and strategic approach to invest in the recruitment, retention and loyalty of healthcare workers.
In our latest cover story, “The Loyal Employee”, our contributors address critical questions that we must ask and strive to find solutions for: How can healthcare workers be retained? What strategies can increase their loyalty? How can healthcare organisations improve the lives of healthcare employees?
David Koff talks about how radiologists sometimes make errors and how peer learning could be a safe way to improve performance and benefit from each other’s errors. Ian Weissman and Maria Ortlieb discuss strategies for improving clinician well-being and staff retention.
Iris Meyenburg-Altwarg explores whether simulation could be a valuable tool for addressing the shortage of nurses in the healthcare sector and how it can provide realistic and safe learning environments for nursing students and professionals.
Rachel Marie proposes a practical approach for managers to reduce turnover by combining a strong employer value proposition with effective employee onboarding, targeting the critical first year of employment. Lilly Beyond highlights the high price of neglecting employee mental fitness and discusses the path to lasting loyalty in the healthcare sector.
Jeff Richards talks about the expected shortfall of registered nurses by 2030 and highlights the need to attract young people to the profession in massive numbers and find the resources to educate and train them.
Susana Álvarez Gómez emphasises that health institutions are knowledge organisations whose raison d’être is patient care and how they must transition towards leadership capable of generating multidisciplinary and collaborative teams. Paul De Raeve and Jochen Bergs delve into the exodus of nurses, the ramifications of this on patient safety and quality of care and the need to keep experienced nurses in the nursing profession.
Sylvia Stocker thinks about robots and AI, their potential to become passionate employees and the potential of human-robot collaboration to empower employees and allow them to focus on meaningful tasks and personalised care. Frederico Sáragga, Wonchul Cha and Henrique Martins explore Metaverse applications and their potential usage in the medical field.
We hope you enjoy reading this issue and welcome any feedback.