How to Solve the Healthcare Engagement Crisis

Fixing the healthcare engagement crisisEvery industry is impacted when employees are unwell and unable to perform their jobs at full capacity. Yet few industries influence overall performance as much as healthcare.

When healthcare workers are unhealthy and disengaged, patient care, safety and organizational success – theirs and potentially anyone’s associated with a patient – are all affected.

With healthcare jobs often requiring highly skilled and highly trained specialists, issues of absenteeism and retention are of utmost concern. These concerns affect overall operations, from canceled appointments and transferring of patients to disruption of essential delivery of care and services.

Those working in healthcare professions face daily challenges that impact their health and performance: long shifts resulting in lack of sleep and proper nutrition, and constant professional demands that are both physically and emotionally exhausting – creating a high risk of burnout. Added to these impediments is an aging Baby Boomer generation that continues to retire and stress the industry at rates previously unseen.

It all begs the question: How can the healthcare industry ensure proper care of those who take care of the rest of us?

A recent blog post in the Huffington Post discussed the healthcare engagement crisis, citing industry issues that have led healthcare to a sharp decline in employee engagement. While author Greg Harris, President and CEO of Quantum Workplace, offered valuable recommendations for improvements, he missed one major point: Employee wellbeing is at the heart of the solution.

Greater patient care starts with greater employee engagement. And greater engagement is achieved through an emphasis on improving the wellbeing of the healthcare workforce. Virgin Pulse clients in the healthcare industry realize dramatic improvements in key areas, such as improved physical activity, blood pressure and turnover rates, with clients reporting a 30% decrease in employee turnover compared to those employees who do not participate with the Virgin Pulse platform.

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The solution expands beyond the confines of employer’s workplaces. Organizations such as MaineGeneral Health recognize the value wellbeing brings to its shifting approach from care management toward population health management. They see wellbeing as the catalyst to drive its greater community in the direction of better health and quality of life.

It’s true, the healthcare engagement crisis carries with it compounding implications on population health and affects the overall performance of our organizations. How can we ensure the best possible results? By placing wellbeing at the center of the healthcare employee experience.

Download our client case study on MaineGeneral Health to learn how the organization emphasizes improved employee wellbeing to influence healthcare engagement and positive health outcomes in its greater community.


Bryan Mahoney is the Director of Content Marketing at Virgin Pulse. He brings more than a decade’s worth of experience as a content producer and blends his interests in all things wellbeing to help organizations become the best places to work. A former marathon champ, he now balances running with family by constantly chasing after his two-year-old daughter, Gia.