Tracking the impact of COVID on the mental health of frontline healthcare workers
Healthcare organizations and professionals face many challenges in the era of Covid-19. These range from mitigating operational and financial uncertainty, to rapidly testing and scaling effective changes for care delivery. In this environment of continuous change, health systems have a unique mandate for cultural agility. They must quickly identify and address both helpful and harmful factors affecting the organization, with a goal of cultivating system resilience.
Receptiviti is excited to collaborate with Adaptive Strategic (a trusted advisor to healthcare organizations to make decisions under uncertainty and reduce employee burnout) in exploring the burnout crisis in healthcare. Specifically, our investigation focused on clinician wellbeing and establishing baseline indictors of burnout. To accomplish this, we identified 2,585 MDs and 4,138 nurses on Reddit by user flair in medical subreddits (r/medicine, r/nurses, r/emergencymedicine). The research effort scraped over 135,855 submissions and 581,350 comments from medical workers between June 2019 and February 4th, 2021.
An early alarming indicator we observed has been in clinician fear, with a 22-24% increase during the early stage of the pandemic (1.3-1.6 standard deviations). For this study, we define fear as worry, anxiety, horror and includes vague feelings of anxiety about unknown factors such as money or health.
In the coming days we will publish our full findings as well as introduce our Healthcare Workers Wellness Index. We believe a disciplined process to anticipate early signs of burnout will be critical to long-term clinician wellbeing and organizational accountability. Without these measures in place, clinician wellbeing may indeed become a parallel crisis of unprecedented proportions.