Workplace violence is an all-too-common occurrence in healthcare. In addition to threats of violence from coworkers that exist in each workplace, healthcare workers are often the targets of violent behavior from patients and visiting family or friends.

An entire healthcare organization can benefit when medical staff services and HR align.

A medical staff services office comprises medical staff professionals (MSPs) and credentialing specialists. They are responsible for credentialing and privileging medical staff members, keeping up with medical staff bylaws, and more.

In contrast, HR managers and employees are often responsible for promoting employee hiring and retention initiatives, managing financial matters such as payroll, and making sure healthcare regulations are followed.

The last two years introduced more changes and challenges to healthcare organizations than ever before. The pandemic tested healthcare employees, who worked to the point of burnout to save lives, and highlighted severe inequities in the quality of and access to care for historically disadvantaged groups. Add to that the explosive growth of telehealth, which is reinventing healthcare delivery.

Staff burnout in 2021 has reached crisis levels, threatening the health of organizations, providers, and patients across the country. Since the start of the pandemic, between 60 percent and 75 percent of clinicians have reported conditions that include exhaustion, depression, sleep disorders, and anxiety, according to Dr. Victor Dzau, President of the National Academy of Medicine, at a November webinar hosted by U.S. News & World Report.

The use of telehealth peaked in 2020 during the shutdown. It has since settled down but remains a popular option, as research demonstrates that telehealth usage today is 38 times higher than it was before the pandemic. That could have a big impact on the future of healthcare.

Medical services professionals (MSPs) are the gatekeepers of patient safety. That will never change. But everything else about the MSP role is evolving rapidly, with those adjustments accelerating exponentially during the COVID pandemic.

Employee health and well-being took center stage for many workplaces during the COVID-19 pandemic. Employers faced difficult decisions regarding remote work, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and time off for employees who needed to quarantine after falling ill or being exposed to the novel coronavirus. Employees struggled with concerns about viral exposure in the workplace. In addition, employees often experienced high stress from increased workloads or financial uncertainty, as more workplaces had to furlough or terminate employees due to financial difficulties.

Even as COVID-19 vaccine distribution is bringing hope for a brighter future, the past 12 months are catching up with healthcare employees and practitioners. A recent survey exploring the pandemic’s impact on healthcare workers’ mental health reveals that 93% reported stress, while 77% said they had frustration and 76% exhaustion and burnout.

Remote work options for healthcare employees expanded significantly in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although on-site work has resumed as usual in many organizations, there’s no doubt that telecommuting has achieved new popularity among both healthcare employers and employees.

The end of 2019 signaled the beginning of a new paradigm in healthcare. The World Health Organization named 2020 the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife to highlight the vital role nurses play in healthcare delivery. Global health organizations sparked this initiative before COVID-19 emerged, and with cases continuing to spike across the globe, the role of nurses has never been more critical.

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