Wellness week 2020 – 6 -12 April 2020! #EMWW2020
Once again this year, WRaP EM will celebrate Wellness Week in collaboration with the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine (ACEM) and the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).
For Wellness Week 2020, WRaP EM’s focus is firmly set on the relationship between staff wellbeing and patient care delivery, including safety outcomes.
In the light of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic (which was not on our radars when we planned WW20 and first posted this blog) we wanted to highlight how this theme is even more imperative. As we all prepare for an unprecedented high demand on our health systems and innumerable unknowns in terms of time course and severity of situation, caring for ourselves and each other at work has never been more important. Looking after ourselves and each other will allow us to provide the consistent, high quality care our communities are going to need. Early evidence emerging from Italy and Singapore5 outline that addressing the physical and psychological safety of staff is of utmost importance in the approach to managing COVID-19.
It is normal to be worried about striking the balance between caring for and protecting our families and serving our communities. This is why we need to ensure we address staff wellbeing at an individual, departmental and organisational level. There will be barriers to staff ability and willingness to work in such circumstances, and we need to identify and put into place measures to overcome these barriers6. The main areas that need addressing are communication, adequate resources and ensuring staff feel safe, appreciated and supported. Linked below are some early resources we have created, please feel free to use them. These are all valid at the time of posting. However, they will definitely change and evolve as the situation does. Please keep an eye out for updates.
Our original theme coincides with the recent release of the joint statement entitled ‘The Health of Emergency Physicians and its Impact on Patient Care: A Call to Action’. This statement has been jointly produced by the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine (ACEM), but also by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM), the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP)4.
A growing body of research highlights the relationship between healthcare providers’ level of engagement at work, how valued and supported they feel at work, and the effect of this on the quality of care they provide to patients. A recent meta-analysis found that physicians who are emotionally drained, work in environments that are poorly resourced and feel undervalued at work are:
- twice as likely to be involved in patient safety incidents
- twice as likely to deliver suboptimal care to patients owing to low professionalism, and
- three times more likely to receive low satisfaction ratings from patients1.
Similar findings have been replicated in nursing staff also2. In addition, civility has also been directly related to the ability of both medical and nursing teams to perform optimally3.
ACEM, ACEP, CAEP and RCEM have aligned their recognition and acknowledgement of the inextricable links between healthcare professionals’ wellbeing and their ability to provide optimal patient care. These four organisations are now calling for solutions to address healthcare professionals’ wellbeing at multiple levels ranging from departmental to national and international systemic strategies4.
Providing consistently high-quality healthcare is the main goal of all healthcare organisations. We are here for our patients and here for our colleagues. Emerging and compelling data provides a powerful impetus for organisations to invest in the provision of emotionally supportive, inclusive and civil work environments for their staff, as a vital strategic approach to improving patient safety and quality of care.
During Wellness Week in April 2020, we will share with you the perspectives of clinicians and consumers on this topic and provide practical tips on how to enhance workplace wellness in order to optimise patient care delivery.
!!! – WRaPEM COVID-19 wellness posters – to download, print and use in your department!
- Panagioti. M et al. Association Between Physician Burnout and Patient Safety, Professionalism, and Patient Satisfaction A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Internal Medicine October 2018 Volume 178, Number 10
- Salyers. M Et al. The Relationship Between Professional Burnout and Quality and Safety in Healthcare: A Meta-Analysis. J Gen Intern Med 32(4):475–82
- Riskin A et al. Paediatrics. September 2015. Vol 136/3