Joint Commission Issues Quick Safety Issue 50 - Developing Resilience to Combat Nurse Burnout

PUBLISHED: Jul 19, 2019
Relevant to: All Healthcare Organizations

The Joint Commission (TJC) has published Quick Safety Issue 50 addressing nurse burnout. According to TJC, organizations have a responsibility to address nurse burnout, which is an identified patient safety issue. The recently released National Nursing Engagement report finds that among the 2000+ respondents 15.6% of all nurses self-reported feelings of burnout. Highlighting the need for action, the survey also found that of those nurses reporting burnout – 50% also reported no plans to leave their organization.

TJC uses the following definition of burnout “…a human response to chronic emotional and interpersonal stress at work, defined by exhaustion, cynicism and inefficiency.” According to TJC’s new Quick Safety Issue, one method to address nurse burnout is by creating resilient environments and individuals.” Resilience is defined as “…the process of personal protection from burnout…” and for individuals is it seen in the ability to adapt successfully in the face of adversity or significant threat. In organizations, resilience is the ability of the system to respond to unforeseen, unpredicted and unexpected demands and also to resume/continue normal operations.

Quick Safety Issue 50 provides an overview of research and background on the concept of resilience in the healthcare environment. TJC suggests that it is the role of organizational leaders within health care organizations to be active in developing and fostering resilient environments and individuals, including nurses. The Quick Safety Issue also suggests the following Safety Actions for organizations to consider:

  • Inform leaders in your organization about the professional factors that foster resilience:
    • Feeling valued professionally, having colleague support, using mentors/role models all contribute to resiliency.
    • Designing the culture in a way to build team support, and encourages a feeling of value and competency
  • Embrace develop and practice Leadership Emerging Behaviors (LEB’s) by creating a safe and positive work environment and empowering employees to participate in decisions related to their work.
  • Providing education for leaders and nurses on nurse burnout and resilience
  • Reviewing processes (EHR, organizational policies, etc.) to ensure they optimally support nursing workflow.

Included with today’s notice are example policies that can relate to creating a supportive environment for nursing staff.

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