Educational Determinants of Health
If you work in healthcare anywhere in the world, and I ask you about how your organization is retaining its clinical workforce, I’ll bet you’d respond with one of the following: an enormous sigh, a hearty laugh, or (god forbid) a quip about how “no one wants to work anymore.”
A recent World Health Organization (WHO, 2022) report names pandemic exhaustion and dwindling patient care seeking as influencers of the mass resignation of health care workers; however, a US nationwide study of healthcare professionals reported top concerns: burnout, hiring, and retention. In fact, 48% are worried about their organization’s ability to hire and retain staff.
WHO’s report indicates that 70% of countries surveyed are investing in long term preparedness and resilience. Systems must be prepared for future pandemics; however, I would argue that the way we’re thinking about resilience does not address the true causes of burnout. Modern care models and workforce training and education continue to fall far behind meeting the needs of our healthcare workers and systems of care.
In 2022, Forbes reported that the healthcare field has now lost an estimated 20% of its workforce, including 30% of nurses. Additional sources indicate alarmingly high resignation rates for psychiatric interprofessional team members including physicians, social workers, and psychologists. All Global Circle reported recently that the Great Resignation is resulting in significant shifts in remaining staff expertise as resignees take their expertise with them when they go. Newer staff without the experience of resigning veteran colleagues are frequently being reassigned to new positions where they may feel they’re practicing outside their scope, and this problem isn’t just with clinical teams. Financial and operational teams, too, are feeling similar effects, leaving organizations across rural and urban areas scrambling to continue mission-driven work without the proper staffing and expertise to do so.
It turns out that there is a factor that has not yet been calculated into systemic success and sustainability yet. That factor is what we at CGI are calling the “educational determinants of health.”
Staff retention has been linked to better employee benefits, better communication, and better work/life balance. Education and training will not resolve all of the systemic mishaps we need to face and fix; however, clinical, financial, and operational teams will benefit from gaining expertise, advising, and mentoring in how to work effectively as interdisciplinary teams. Strong healthcare teams need access to advanced education and training online from home with the full support of the organization employing them. With the expertise gains will come improved population health, patient satisfaction, sustainable financing models, and improved joy in work. Strategic focus on the educational determinants of health is needed to transform broken systems of care into integrated, engaged community partners.
To accomplish something different, an evolved workforce is required. We are in the business of improving the health and, therefore, quality of life for those we serve. Therefore, the quality of education and training that administrators, operations and clinical teams have had in integration of care will have a direct impact on the effectiveness of their efforts, and ultimately on the health outcomes of those served by the organization.
Organizations should know how impactful the educational determinants of health are on population health outcomes, and should be strategically investing heavily in sourcing expert education and training in integrated care.
Cummings Graduate Institute for Behavioral Health Studies (CGI) is now accepting applications for Spring 2023 enrollment in the Doctor of Behavioral Health (DBH) degree program, Master of Healthcare Leadership (MHL) degree program, Trauma Informed Care (TIC)certificate program, Integrated Behavioral Health (IBH) certificate with specializations adults, gerontology, leadership, military families and veterans, and women’s health. Scholarship opportunities are available for new students enrolling in the DBH & MHL programs. Additionally, CGI offers flexible payment options and accepts a range of funding options, including VA Education Benefits, employer tuition reimbursement and our Tuition Assistance Education Partnership program for select programs. Apply by October 28, 2022 to join the Spring I 2023 cohort, starting classes January 9, 2023.
To learn more about CGI’s academic programs, visit: https://cgi.edu/academic-programs/.
Cummings Graduate Institute for Behavioral Health Studies (CGI) is a private, nonprofit, DEAC accredited university offering online, post-graduate education in the field of integrated behavioral healthcare. Cummings Graduate Institute’s post-graduate level academic programs are designed to meet the healthcare industry’s need for a highly-skilled workforce to support an integrated approach to addressing patients’ needs. Explore CGI: https://cgi.edu/.