Tuesday July 23rd 2019

Standards to create healthy work environments

A growing body of evidence confirms the link between health care work environments and patient safety, clinical outcomes, staff retention and other measures related to the quality of care. Yet workplace studies continue to find an abundance of unhealthy work environments.

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses amplifies its commitment to improve the environments in which nurses work, with the publication of the second edition of “AACN Standards for Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments: A Journey to Excellence.” AACN is an organizational affiliate of the American Nurses Association.

“We know from listening to our more than 100,000 members that the impact of technology and the burden of more regulation and reporting, together with the increasing complexity of patients, add to the challenge of ensuring that work environments are healthy,” said AACN Chief Clinical Officer Connie Barden, MSN, RN, CCRN-E, CCNS, also an ANACalifornia member. “As a result, today’s work environments demand even more attention to the fundamental issues delineated in these standards. The stakes are high — patients’ lives and nurses’ well-being depend on it.”

AACN’s original six standards for healthy work environments remain the core of the updated document: skilled communication, true collaboration, effective decision making; appropriate staffing, meaningful recognition and authentic leadership. The standards are now supported by additional research and new evidence confirming the link between healthy work environments and optimal outcomes for patients, health care professionals and organizations. Preliminary findings from the Barriers to Practice survey conducted by AACN confirm the need for continued focus on the health of work environments. Results will be released later this year.

For more information, go to www.aacn.org. Also find ANA and other relevant resources at www.nursingworld.org/WorkplaceSafety/Healthy-Work-Environment.

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