The hospital should be a safe, healing and humane environment for both patients and health care providers. However, pressures from growing patient acuity, operational constraints, increasing regulatory demands, and communication and staffing issues can diminish the quality of the work environment.

Connor and colleagues evaluated the use of the AACN Healthy Work Environment (HWE) Tool with interdisciplinary staff and found that

  • All 6 standard elements for establishing an HWE were assessed as “good.”

  • The greatest difference between nurse and physician respondents was in the standard of “meaningful recognition,” with nurses scoring lower.

  • The HWE tool was reliable and valid as a comprehensive measure of work environment.

It is critical for health care system leaders to actively evaluate work environments to provide optimal patient outcomes. The authors recommend using the HWE tool as an organizational measure to identify substandard behaviors that may affect patients’...

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