December 22, 2021

Regenstrief study could offer solutions to combat health care worker burnout


A health care worker rests her head on her hands at a testing location early in the pandemic. - (Justin Hicks/IPB News)

A health care worker rests her head on her hands at a testing location early in the pandemic.

(Justin Hicks/IPB News)

As many Indiana hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, health care workers say they’re simply burned out. But a recent study from the Regenstrief Institute may have some ideas to help employers reduce workplace fatigue.

Researchers interviewed 40 mental health clinicians working on reducing burnout in their respective health care systems. The researchers found that emphasizing person-centered care over productivity, avoiding bureaucracy, and prioritizing employee professional development helped workers deal with burnout. 

READ MORE: Health experts preach COVID-19 precautions ahead of end-of-year winter holidays

Angela Rollins is an investigator at Regenstrief’s Center for Health Services Research. She said busy health care systems might not have time to institute all the best practices, but administrators can do small things now to help overloaded care units.

“We’re in the middle of a hospital surge right now, so having some sort of presence on those units and to show solidarity, I think that goes a long way.”

Rollins said for everyone else, the best way to help health care workers avoid burnout right now is simple: just get vaccinated.

Contact reporter Justin at jhicks@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @Hicks_JustinM.

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