New policy brief urges action to address burnout in healthcare professionals

The epidemic of clinician burnout can cost lives, adversely impact the quality of patient care, precipitate medical errors and cost millions in turnover. The College of Nursing is helping to advocate for culture and policy change to battle the epidemic of healthcare clinician burnout with solid evidence.

The Helene Fuld Health Trust National Institute for EBP and the Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO) unveiled a new evidence-based policy brief in February that urges state policymakers and healthcare leaders to address clinician burnout and its impact on 
the quality and safety of patient care. The brief was informed by 18 months of research, partnership and expert analysis of the problem, the costs and the potential solutions. A consortium of leaders from across the state met at the Fawcett Center at Ohio State in February for the unveiling to support the brief and consider next steps for advocacy. The brief was cited to bolster sponsor testimony presented by the late State Representative Don Manning (R-59th District) to support HB 144, which would prohibit hospitals from requiring nurses to work mandatory, unscheduled overtime.

“Healthcare organizations must be proactive in supporting clinicians and addressing burnout and depression from a holistic perspective, including reducing shift length, providing evidence-based programs and resources for clinicians, and building a culture that promotes well-being,” said Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, APRN-CNP, EBP-C, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN, vice president for health promotion, university chief wellness officer and dean of the College of Nursing.

“Understanding the relationship between clinician well-being and patient care and safety enables state policymakers and healthcare leaders to implement evidence-informed policies and programs that improve outcomes for clinicians and their patients,” said Reem Aly, vice president of HPIO and co-author of the report.

The brief outlines action steps that policymakers and healthcare leaders can take to reduce clinician burnout and ensure safe and high-quality care. The full report and resource page are online at

A call to action: Improving clinician wellbeing and patient care and safety