Using common work environment metrics to improve performance in healthcare organizations

This article proposes a comprehensive framework for assessing, reporting and improving the quality of work environments in healthcare organizations across Canada. Healthy work environments (HWE) contribute to positive outcomes for healthcare employees and physicians. The same HWE ingredients also can reduce operating costs, improve human resource utilization, and ultimately lead to higher quality patient care. We show how health system employers, governments, quality agencies and other stakeholders can implement effective HWE metrics. The common reporting framework and metrics we propose will enable managers and policy makers to use HWE ingredients as levers to improve organizational performance. Progress requires the active involvement of stakeholders in developing common metrics, integrating these into existing measurement and reporting systems, building in managerial accountability for work environment quality, and supporting on-going improvements at the front-lines of care and service delivery.
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Getting a grip on stress

Work stress often gets labelled a 21st century epidemic. However, increased employer attention
on creating healthier work environments may be helping to get stress under control.There’s only one way to know whether the stress landscape
is changing: track national trends using best available data, which come from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS). The CCHS gauges Canadians’self-perceived levels of work stress. While there has been a slight decline in work stress levels, we lack the data required to know why this is happening and if it is a trend. To fill this gap, Canada needs a new national survey that can monitor stress and related working conditions.
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