Rx for Burnout: How Healthcare Leaders are Addressing Workforce Shortages

The healthcare workforce is currently experiencing critical shortages across the U.S. Nurses and other healthcare workers are increasingly burned out and are leaving their jobs at record rates. The American Hospital Association said it expected to lose half a million nurses by the end of 2022, creating a total shortage of 1.1 million nurses nationwide.

Aside from the typical demands these professionals face every day, 1 in 4 healthcare workers is also pulling a double shift as a family caregiver when they arrive home. The latest reports indicate that caregiving is the second largest barrier keeping people out of the workforce today.

Caregivers spend an average of 20 hours each week providing unpaid care for family, friends, or loved ones. Juggling medical appointments and coordinating care during the workday leads to higher levels of stress, difficulty focusing on their jobs, and sometimes being forced to leave their job entirely when the balancing act becomes too difficult.

How Healthcare Supports Workforce Well-Being

As the number of caregivers rises year over year and the silver tsunami approaches, the healthcare industry has begun to take notice.

Healthcare companies like Bassett Healthcare Network, Vizient Inc., and Lee Health all recently turned to caregiving benefits to relieve some of the burden from their employees, boost retention, and help attract great talent.

Reducing Stress for Healthcare Employees

Bassett Healthcare Network, a system that connects people residing in Central New York to the health care services they need, implemented Homethrive’s family caregiving solution in early 2023 for their staff. Caregiving became a focus for leadership once they realized that in addition to their employees caring for patients, they were also worrying about their family members at home.

“We have listened carefully and learned that family caregiving support is one of the most valuable benefits we could provide for our most valuable asset: our employees,” said Christine Pirri, Senior Vice President, Chief People and Diversity Officer at Bassett Healthcare Network. “By partnering with Homethrive, we are able to alleviate stress for our caregivers and help their loved ones.”

Promoting Well-Being and Mental Health

Vizient Inc., the nation’s largest provider-driven healthcare performance improvement company, began providing Homethrive to its employees in 2023. Access to Homethrive’s in-house team of Master’s-level social workers will help their employees navigate more complex situations and provide emotional support when needed.

“From children with special needs to elder parents, caregiving requirements are increasing, and it can feel overwhelming at times,” said Patty Olsen, Chief People Officer at Vizient. “I’m very excited about this new benefit program for our employees. This service will help them find resources to assist with the requirements of caregiving so they are also able to better manage their personal well-being.”

Vizient hopes that by offering caregiving benefits, it will help retain employees, attract fresh talent, and set a national example for supporting healthcare workers who show up every day for their community members.

Supporting Healthcare Workers

Lee Health, the largest public health system in the state of Florida, is also offering Homethrive to its 15,000+ employees as of 2023. The idea of implementing a caregiving benefit came to life after Lee Health’s employees shared their personal experiences and challenges.

“Healthcare workers are facing new challenges every day and personal caregiving is at the top of the list for many,” said Mike Wukitsch, Chief People Officer at Lee Health. “Our employees came to us with the issues they were facing, and Homethrive offered us the chance to address this need.”

Homethrive assists people caring for a loved one who needs more help due to age, disability, or a medical condition. From guidance on Medicare plan options to a new medical diagnosis to recommendations on home safety equipment, the caregiving experts at Homethrive are trained to help the growing number of employees doubling as unpaid caregivers thrive at home and at work.

Learn more about the ROI of caregiving benefits here and how Homethrive is helping here.

Interested in joining our support community?

Connect with other caregivers like you on our Family Caregivers with Careers Facebook group to find advice, inspiration, and support.