Healthcare Workers at Risk for Mental Health Problems as a Result of COVID-19

COVID-19 and mental health of staff

Is your hospital missing a hidden health crisis? Our CNO, Lisa Romano, recently published this article in Digital Health Today about how COVID-19 is taking a toll on the mental health of front-line workers, and what you can do to ensure the well-being of your staff. 

 

Some of the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has affected our healthcare system have been immediately and explicitly apparent. Hospitals and ICUs reaching or nearing capacity, foundational changes to safety protocol and procedures, and drastic shifts in patient and family engagement practices were some of the effects that have been most visible inside and outside hospitals and health systems.

But as the U.S. nears 7 million cases of COVID-19, a quieter crisis continues to play out in the shadow of the one that has gripped headlines since the early spring. Although healthcare workers have received much-deserved praise for their strength and resilience in the face of unprecedented challenges, the pandemic is taking its toll on the mental health of those on the front lines.

recent study from North Carolina State University uncovered some startling findings, revealing the extent to which healthcare workers are at risk for mental health problems like depression during the pandemic. In fact, the study showed that the average healthcare professional reported enough symptoms to be diagnosed with clinical depression. Indeed, a separate meta-analysis of more than 33,000 healthcare workers found a depression prevalence of 22.8% among those surveyed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unfortunately, some of them perceive asking for mental health support as a sign of weakness. In addition, healthcare providers are focused on caring for others and often overlook themselves when it comes to attending to their physical and mental health. Both of these challenges persist during COVID-19 and are adding to the number of mental health issues affecting healthcare providers.

Just as it is incumbent upon hospitals and health systems to ensure the highest level of protection and safety standards for healthcare workers, they also have a primary role to play in addressing the mental health crisis affecting frontline professionals – especially as this can affect staff retention, turnover, and most importantly, patient outcomes.

Continue reading this article here.

Learn more about what CipherHealth is doing to help hospitals and health systems ensure staff wellbeing in our new e-book, “Purposeful Rounding in the Time of COVID-19”.

As CipherHealth’s Chief Nursing Officer, Lisa Romano, MSN, RN brings more than 25 years of experience in clinical practice, healthcare IT strategy, and healthcare operations to her current role. Prior to previous CNO roles, Lisa spent 19 years as a nurse and hospital administrator at Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network in Allentown, PA, where she was responsible for all patient flow and transfer center operations as well as numerous quality and patient satisfaction initiatives. Lisa is passionate about improving the health of patients across the healthcare continuum.