Hospitals had been dealing with a shortage of nurses for more than 10 years when COVID-19 shocked the system in early 2020. Generational change also contributed to a shortfall expected to last for years. In addition to aggressively recruiting new nurses, hospitals are encouraging them to continue in direct care by offering career development opportunities. The ascendence of millennials in the workforce also demands a new approach to recruiting and retaining nurses.
The current nursing shortage illustrates the need for acute and post-acute care providers to work together, though they are competing for the same job applicants. Like hospitals, post-acute providers try to attract and retain nurses by offering professional development opportunities, including support for associate-to-bachelor’s degree programs. In addition to thoughts on the immediate crisis, participants at a recent event offered ideas for system changes that could help.
The Institute for Safe Medication Practices offers strategies to avoid vaccine mix-ups when administering both influenza and COVID-19 shots this fall. The group’s advisory came after multiple reports of patients given the wrong vaccine.

The National Academy of Medicine’s Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience, first formed in 2017, offers a wide variety of resources – from case studies to COVID-19 well-being strategies to burnout measurement tools – for organizations looking for ways to reduce clinician stress.

The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority used its extensive database of adverse events and near misses to analyze more than 350 wrong-site surgery cases. The result was a 21-point list for reliable correct-site surgery.

Upcoming events

  • Communication & Resolution Following Patient Harm. Press Ganey's Tejal Gandhi, MD, and Carole Stockmeter will discuss the importance of effective communication and resolution with patients and families after events of harm occur and how to apply a "Principle + Practice" approach. November 10, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Learn more
  • Power to Heal: Virtual Documentary Screening & Panel Discussion. From the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association, the Massachusetts Medical Society, and the Boston Chapter of American College of Healthcare Executives, a documentary detailing the historic struggle to obtain equal, affordable, and adequate access to healthcare for all Americans. Q&A with thought leaders following the screening. November 17, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Learn more
Patient Safety Beat is published by the Betsy Lehman Center, a Massachusetts state agency that supports providers, patients and policymakers working together to advance the safety and quality of health care.