Before Covid-19 pandemic struck, the U.S. health care industry suffered more than 550,000 work-related injuries and illnesses per year, or 150,000 more than any other industry in the country. Therefore, it is no surprise that health care workers have been harmed at tragic rates during the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of June 4, 72,346 U.S. health care workers had been infected, a figure it acknowledges is an undercount. A comprehensive national analysis indicates that almost 600 health care workers have died.
Every instance of a health care worker being harmed on the job is preventable. Every single one. So it is time to finally take the safety of health care staff seriously. It is time for the industry to go from the worst to the first in safety. A few visionary leaders and organizations have set out on that course and proven that it is possible. Drawing from their practices before and during the pandemic, we offer five leadership imperatives.
Read full article by John Toussaint, MD and Ken Segal in HBRListen to Ken Segel and John Toussaint on our podcast