According to Dyrbye et al. (2017), burnout among health care employees has been on the increase in the past years, as the US health care system is faced with rising pressures to deliver quality care at lower costs. While such a shift is ideal for patients, health care workers have been negatively affected as they struggle with alarming rates of burnout. Burnout is defined as a work-related stress syndrome that is due to repeated exposure to job stress. Burnout among healthcare employees is linked to significant negative professional and personal consequences (Dyrbye et al., 2017). It is linked to impaired quality of care, lower patient satisfaction, and medical errors. Therefore, it is necessary to solve health care employee burnout, as more workers are likely to be affected in the coming years. The development of a health care policy focused on employee burnout is necessary. The main stakeholders who can influence the success of the policy include Congress and the US President.
The issue of healthcare employee burnout is important because the country has witnessed an increase in the number of healthcare workers with burnout issues. It means that the problem is likely to worsen in the coming years if no action is taken (Dyrbye et al., 2017). Moreover, the ability of the issue to impact both the personal and professional lives of health care workers demonstrates that it is of a large magnitude. If no policy is formulated to address it, the US health care will likely face significant problems; particularly, lower quality of care. The target population for the policy is the country’s health care workers, comprising doctors, physicians, and nurses.
The best way to implement the policy is through the US Congress. A Congress member can introduce a bill that aims to reduce burnout among health care workers by following well-researched strategies developed by professional bodies (Buse, Mays, & Walt, 2012). The policy will undergo the legislative process, where it will be thoroughly scrutinized by Congress before it is passed as a law and signed by the President. It means that the implementation of the policy will be at the macro-level, whereby senators will play a significant role in its formulation. The policy will be implemented at this level because Congress can access resources to help them gather and analyze scientific data in sound policy development. Moreover, the policy implementation at the federal level will allow for addressing the issue from the widest scope possible, as health care burnout affects health workers at all levels.
Since the policy will be new, it will be essential to conduct a formative evaluation. It will help determine if there are changes to be made to the policy to ensure that it is highly efficient in addressing health care employee burnout. In particular, the scope of the evaluation will include process evaluation and needs assessment. The evaluation will occur during the early stages of policy implementation to better understand the effectiveness of the policy (Scott, Schwartz, & Dimick, 2020).
Suppose the evaluation of the policy suggests that the proposed policy is not fulfilling its intended purpose. In that case, it will be necessary to revise its contents after thorough consultations with professional bodies in the health care field.
Buse, K., Mays, N., & Walt, G. (2012). Making health policy. Maidenhead: McGraw Hill/Open University Press.
Dyrbye, L. N., T. D. Shanafelt, T., Sinsky, C., Cipriano, P., Bhatt, J., Ommaya, A., West, C., & Meyers, D. (2017). Burnout among health care professionals: A call to explore and address this underrecognized threat to safe, high-quality care. NAM Perspectives. Discussion Paper, National Academy of Medicine, Washington, DC. https://doi.org/10.31478/201707b
Scott, J., Schwartz, T., & Dimick, J. (2020). Practical Guide to Health Policy Evaluation Using Observational Data. JAMA Surgery, 155(4), 353-354. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamasurg.2019.4398
Part 2: Emerging Trends in Health Care
Various trends are emerging in health care capable of influencing policies. For instance, the establishment of a collaborative ecosystem has become necessary amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Countries are expected to work together to address health care needs, which could impact their health care policies, as they will have to rely on a common mindset in the formulation of their health policies (Martin, 2021). Another emerging trend in health care is the provision of virtual care. Digital acceleration has made virtual care start becoming popular, which means that more patients will likely shift to virtual care solutions (Martin, 2021). Therefore, health care organizations must ensure that they develop digital care policies to guide their provision of virtual care. Another emerging health care trend that could influence policies is reliance on real-time analytics to expedite care. More health care organizations are considering the use of real-time information to expedite the care process. (Martin, 2021) The success of real-time analytics will require the formulation of policies within these organizations to guide the use of patient data. Of these three trends, establishing a collaborative ecosystem will have the greatest impact because it will require the revision of global health care policies.
Martin, G. (2021). Top 10 emerging trends in health care for 2021: The new normal. American Hospital Association. https://trustees.aha.org/top-10-emerging-trends-health-care-2021-new-normal