Three Priority Aims to Maintain Staff Wellbeing

June 15, 2021

Three Priority Needs

Priority Aims Examples
Meeting basic daily needs including food, housing options, transportation to/from work, personal safety including personal protective equipment, and childcare Hospitals and health systems prioritized meeting the basic needs of employees to reduce stress and allow them to focus on patient and self care. Tactics they employed include:

  • Hotlines & call lines
  • Dedicated supportive spaces
  • Websites with access to hospital resources

Northwell Health set up a tent outside employee entrances that provided free food and refreshments to all staff.

Mount Sinai Health System created a webpage for staff outlining resources for employees seeking help with food, transportation, childcare, and other basic needs.

Enhancing communication for delivery of current, reliable, and reassuring messages To reduce confusion and fear, and ensure accurate messaging, hospitals and health systems prioritized daily communication to ensure employees had access to the most up-to-date information about the response to COVID-19. Tactics they employed include:

  • A dedicated email address for questions
  • A dedicated intranet page with FAQs
  • Daily leadership messages
  • Virtual town halls

Mount Sinai Health System pushed out proactive daily communications updating staff on the system’s response to COVID. These included daily emails and virtual town halls to address staff concerns and questions.

Montefiore Health System President and CEO Philip Ozuah, MD, led 1 p.m. daily phone calls to all Montefiore staff. Called “Montefiore Together,” these calls were to inspire staff and inform the system’s response to COVID-19.

Psychosocial and mental health support options During this unprecedented crisis, hospitals and health systems have prioritized the mental health of all staff, but particularly those on the frontline of treating severely ill COVID-19 patients. Tactics they employed to support their workforce include:

  • Hotlines & call lines as well as proactive text message outreach
  • Dedicated supportive spaces
  • Unit-based rounding
  • Peer group huddles (virtual or in-person)
  • Guidance for managers on checking in with direct reports and access to resources
  • Celebrating when patients are discharged or extubated, and creating thank you videos for the staff

Hartford HealthCare put in place numerous options for staff seeking support, including a dedicated email address to request counseling, spiritual counseling, virtual drop-in sessions, and provider peer support.

NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia prepared a guidance document to conduct 1:1 small group sessions for faculty and staff to debrief and brainstorm resilience and coping strategies.

NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue provided a respite space for employees staffed by Helping Healers Heal peer support staff.

Mount Sinai Health System mental health professionals conducted daily unit rounds to check on staff.

WMC Health’s Behavioral Health Center provided a 24/7 hotline for staff, first responders, and the community for those needing support.

This New York Times article describes songs of hope played at hospitals in New York City and Rockland County.

This Newsday article describes the music played at Huntington Hospital each time a patient is discharged.

Erie County Medical Center and Rochester Regional Health produced videos to thank their dedicated staff who have answered the call during the COVID-19 pandemic.