The COVID-19 pandemic has served as a brutal reminder that the safety of healthcare workers must be top of mind for jurisdictions, health systems and healthcare executives. According to the World Health Organization healthcare workers accounted for around 14% of global COVID-19 infections.1
There are two challenges in protecting caregivers — ensuring their physical safety and safeguarding their mental wellbeing – and they are inextricably linked.
This thought leadership paper introduces concrete steps that healthcare leaders can take to mitigate the physical risks to healthcare staff and help to safeguard their mental health, while continuing to deliver high-value care to patients.
Key Learnings from the paper: How to protect healthcare professionals who protect others?
Steps to protect their physical safety
- Restrict access to healthcare facilities to ensure that only people who absolutely need to be there are allowed through the door.
- Set up dedicated spaces, equipment, and personnel for infectious patients
- Constantly monitor and test COVID-19 frontline staff in order to identify potential infections early and undertake appropriate measures.
Measures to safeguard their mental health
- Support care teams in acute situation, helping front line workers with the physical and mental stress of working in dangerous situations.
- Build care teams’ mental resilience with mind-body
techniques such as mindful breathing, active meditation, biofeedback, and
Establish internal leaders to embed social support and facilitate a feeling of being “all in it together.”