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Campaign Insights

Impact Wellbeing. Campaign Insights

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NIOSH developed and launched a national campaign to address healthcare worker burnout. The Impact Wellbeing™ campaign equips hospital leaders with evidence-informed tools and resources to improve and sustain healthcare worker wellbeing.

NIOSH is the federal research institute focused on the study of worker safety and health. This campaign is focused on primary prevention in hospital settings – intervening before poor mental health outcomes occur. Healthcare workers in hospitals historically experience high levels of burnout and risk for poor wellbeing, and the pandemic exacerbated the issue. Hospital leaders are well-positioned to implement needed operational and cultural changes. They are also able to reach a large population of healthcare workers across all levels, departments, and job titles.

Using insights to define Impact Wellbeing’s strategic direction

Findings revealed that healthcare workers were aware of burnout and its root causes. They also preferred to learn about existing resources and new professional wellbeing efforts directly through their hospitals.

To inform campaign development, NIOSH explored healthcare workers and leaders’ attitudes, beliefs, knowledge, experiences, and needs around professional wellbeing.

These findings led NIOSH to tailor the Impact Wellbeing campaign to equip hospital leaders with tools and resources to help reduce healthcare worker burnout.

A phased approach

Campaign development efforts were split into two phases so that findings from each activity could inform the next.1

Phase 1: Defining Campaign Audiences, Priorities, and Needs
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Held two collaborative briefing sessions with healthcare organizations, labor unions, researchers, and non-profit organizations. They gathered input on audience targets, overall landscape knowledge, and employer best practices. Used NIOSH’s tripartite approach of government, industry, and labor to determine session participants.

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Conducted an environmental scan of 19 communication campaigns to review existing resources and interventions that promote wellbeing among healthcare workers.

Phase 2: Understanding Campaign Audiences
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Held 56 in-depth interviews with healthcare workers and hospital leaders. These aimed to understand knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs around professional wellbeing and test campaign messages.​

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Conducted two rounds of online bulletin boards with over 120 healthcare workers and hospital leaders. These tested campaign creative concepts and messages and communications preferences.

Key Audience Takeaways:
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Hospital leaders need actionable guidance on how they can address wellbeing at their own hospital.​

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Healthcare workers need hospital leaders to address the systemic factors at the root of staff burnout​.

Overall key findings and insights

  • There is a lack of awareness of publicly-available professional wellbeing resources for hospital leaders.
  • Existing efforts to reduce healthcare worker burnout often placed responsibility on the healthcare worker to take action.
  • Both hospital leaders and healthcare workers need solutions to address burnout.
  • Both audiences want to feel understood by one another. They also agree that improving healthcare worker wellbeing requires a hospital-specific and leadership-led approach.
  • Hospital leaders need actionable guidance on how they can address wellbeing at their own hospital.​ They also need support and resources throughout the process of improving staff wellbeing. These include strategies for measuring impact over time.
  • Healthcare workers do not want efforts to focus on individual resilience.​ Instead, they need hospital leaders to address the systemic factors at the root of staff burnout (e.g., adequate staffing, demanding work schedules, excess administrative work, etc.)​.

Putting insights into practice

With these findings, NIOSH developed the Impact Wellbeing campaign to support hospital leaders in making operational improvements within their hospitals and in communicating with their healthcare workers about these efforts. The campaign offers resources for hospital leaders and healthcare workers, including:

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The Impact Wellbeing Guide, an actionable, real-world tested tool designed to help hospital leaders implement systems-level changes to improve professional wellbeing for healthcare workers.

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Tips and best practices for hospital leaders to effectively communicate with their staff about professional wellbeing.

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Resources for healthcare workers to talk about mental health and burnout in the workplace, and advocate for use of the Guide in their organization.

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Impact Wellbeing was developed by NIOSH in collaboration with the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation to support hospital leaders, and in turn their healthcare workforce, to improve professional wellbeing.

1 Smeltzer SC, Copel LC, Bradley PK, Maldonado LT, D Byrne C, Durning JD, Havens DS, Brom H, Mensinger JL, Yost J [2022]. Vulnerability, loss, and coping experiences of health care workers and first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic: A qualitative study. Int J Qual Stud Health Well-being 17(1):2066254.