Resilience Revisited: Moving the Focus from Individuals to Systems
System resilience is characterized by institutional capacity to recover from adversity, restabilize, and return to a functional normal. There’s much confusion however about what system resilience looks like, how it should be implemented, and if, in fact, we should reconceptualize what the post-pandemic workforce needs to support overall wellbeing, improve retention, and maintain optimal patient care.
A retrospective analysis of workforce resilience finds that worker burnout was a significant problem prior to the pandemic, affecting health providers across professions, status, levels, and experience and thusly affecting health and healthcare outcomes. The exigencies of the 2020 pandemic surfaced vulnerabilities and inequities within health systems that rendered them unprepared to manage the unprecedented impacts of the Covid virus. Recognized as well is that self-care alone is an inadequate solution to mass burnout and some suggest that focus on individual resilience places undue burden on those workers caring for the extraordinary needs of others. Forming and maintaining a resilient system requires understanding and attending to current and future needs and consistently prioritizing the well-being of workers, whether carrying out care during a catastrophic situation or simply dealing with the day-to-day stresses of patient needs.
We hope to inspire conversation with Nexus Summit participants to learn about ways in which their systems have responded to the Covid pandemic by supporting the wellbeing of workers. Participants will collectively develop systems level suggestions to enable and advocate for quality, safe, equitable, and meaningful work/life balances in health and healthcare settings.