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American Association of Critical-Care Nurses

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An assessment tool for measuring the health of healthcare workplaces


Med Page Today reports:

“According to the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) {a good working environment} is a place where healthcare professionals can make their optimal contribution. For almost a decade, critical-care nurses have been able to evaluate the health of their work environment with the association’s online assessment tool based on its Healthy Work Environment standards.

“Now a new study finds that the tool has applications beyond critical care, and is effective for assessing the health of the work environment for interprofessional patient care teams throughout a hospital’s patient care settings.

“‘Although AACN’s assessment tool has been used primarily among acute and critical-care nurses, our findings support consideration of wider use in multiple healthcare settings’  said the study’s principal investigator, Jean Anne Connor, PhD, RN, CPNP, director of nursing research, cardiovascular, and critical care patient services at Boston Children’s Hospital. ‘Clinical leaders understand that to safeguard the quality of patient care, attention must be focused on the performance of healthcare teams.”‘

“The assessment tool is an 18-question survey designed to help organizations or departments identify areas for improvement. It assists in measuring the health of a work environment against AACN’s six Healthy Work Environment standards:

  • Skilled communication
  • True collaboration
  • Effective decision-making
  • Appropriate staffing
  • Meaningful recognition
  • Authentic leadership

“The study, published in the American Journal of Critical Care, reports the results of a two-phase administration of the tool to 2,621 patient-care employees at Boston Children’s Hospital.”

To read the full Med Page article, please hit this link.

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