By Lisa DiBlasi-Moorehead, EdD, MSN,RN, CNEP, Field Director and Barbara Braun, Associate Director, Department of Research
Every year, The Joint Commission supports the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Safe + Sound Week.
The theme of the awareness week—recognizing the successes of workplace health and safety programs—offers information and ideas on how to keep America's workers safe and aligns with The Joint Commission’s mission and recent work. In fact, this year’s Safe + Sound Week, August 15-21, is the perfect time to introduce our new Healthcare Workforce Safety and Well-Being website.
We have been concerned about the healthcare workforce for some time and launched our Workplace Violence Prevention Resources portal in 2016 as our way of connecting healthcare workers with any winning practices to keep them safe. This website features:
- resource compendium
- information on Joint Commission standards
- case studies from the field
Over the years, the enormous website traffic to the portal has been surprising, even to us. The high-volume of visitors speaks to the grave concerns healthcare workers have about their safety at work.
Healthcare Workforce Safety and Well-Being Website
It’s become a popular saying that the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted long-standing problems in healthcare. That’s certainly true with respect to our workforce. We’ve been talking for years about the looming shortage, healthcare worker burnout, barriers to entry into various clinical professions and more. A pandemic that’s stretched more than two years has pushed many of our healthcare workers beyond their breaking point and many organizations are dealing with far less staff than they had at the beginning of the pandemic.
We created a space—similar to what we did with workplace violence prevention a few years ago—to offer a conglomeration of resources from leading organizations, like the National Academy of Medicine, Office of the Surgeon General, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Institute on Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH) and more. A special section (under federal resources) links to OSHA’s website.
We’re proud to highlight resources, like the Surgeon General’s advisory to shift burnout from a “me” problem to a “we” problem and NIOSH’s Total Worker Health program. We’re proud to do our part to provide solutions to this problem, starting with our Quick Safety, Issue 50: Developing Resiliency to Combat Nurse Burnout and new Joint Commission standards addressing workplace violence for accredited hospitals, effective January 1, 2022.
Safe + Sound is one of our favorite health awareness weeks because it’s designed around the worker. As U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy puts it, "The nation’s health depends on the well-being of our health workforce."
Please take some time to review the website and let us know what you think!
Lisa DiBlasi-Moorehead, EdD, MSN, RN, CENP, is a Field Director at The Joint Commission. Previously, Dr. DiBlasi- Moorehead was associate nurse executive and field director at The Joint Commission for the Hospital, Critical Access Hospital and Nursing Care Center accreditation programs. Since 2010, she has been a surveyor for the Hospital accreditation program. Prior to joining The Joint Commission, Dr. DiBlasi Moorehead was responsible for accreditation and regulatory compliance and related performance improvement activities for a five-hospital system in Louisville, Kentucky. She has also held leadership positions in nursing, quality and education during her more than 30 years in health care.
Barbara Braun is currently Associate Director, Health Services Research, in the Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation at The Joint Commission. She is a member of the CDC National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) National Occupational Research Agenda Healthcare and Social Assistance Sector Council which is charged with developing an industry-specific research agenda for the nation, and is co-leader of The Joint Commission/JCR/OSHA Alliance activities. She has been involved in Joint Commission research, evaluation, and performance measurement activities for more than 20 years. Prior to this position, she worked for the Veterans Administration health services research department in Hines IL on projects related to home care, long term care, and infectious diseases.