European Union of Private Hospitals

EPHA awards finalists – Work place excellence

Istituti Ospedalieri Bergamaschi s.r.l.- Policlinico San Pietro hospital from Italy

“The Istituti Ospedalieri Bergamaschi (IOB) decided to undertake a comprehensive assessment focused on their health professionals, in order to detect the level of organisational well-being and work-related stress, after the three waves of the pandemic and during the fourth. This initiative was motivated by two main reasons: one related to the fact that Bergamo was unfortunately known as the Italian province most affected by Covid; the other because if an organisation wants to be sustainable, it is necessary to make the workplace safe, both ergonomically and psychosocially. Well-being at work is characterised by a state of mind and requires a good balance between the skills, needs and aspirations of workers and the constraints and opportunities of the workplace. The aim is to promote organisational well-being, enhance work motivation and prevent staff burnout. This initiative aimed to improve the impact of the managerial health initiative towards patients and workers.”

The full story…

The initiative ran from April 2021 to December 2021. It involved two private hospitals that belong to the same company, the San Donato Group. All health professionals were made aware of the project reaching the number of 1795 people; 1000 questionnaires were distributed; 44.3% were returned for a total of 32,339 items collected.

In general, stress is identified as a condition in which the individual feels unable to meet the demands or expectations of the environment. However, not all manifestations of stress, which occur in the workplace, can be defined as “work-related”. Work related stress (WRS) is a state of imbalance that occurs when the worker feels unable to meet the demands made on him/her at work.

One thousand paper questionnaires were distributed; the compilation was voluntary and anonymous; the questionnaires were available for completion for one month; 443 questionnaires were returned. Thirty-seven hospital units were reached, as both policlinics have almost the same organisational structure and the same services: ambulatory, cardiology, neurology, paediatrics, gynaecology, laboratory, surgery, oncology, dialysis, endoscopy, ophthalmology, medicine, orthopaedics, emergency, radiotherapy, radiology, rehabilitation, intensive care, operating theatre.

List of analysed indicators:

Work-related: Injuries, sick leave absences, work absences, paid leave, work rotation days, staff rotation, legal actions and disciplinary sanctions, requests for extraordinary visits to the occupational physician, official records of employee complaints to the company or the occupational physician, claims for dismissal, demotion, moral and/or sexual harassment.

Content area: Work environment and work equipment, task planning, workload/work pattern, working hours.

Work context domain: Function and organisational culture, role in the organisation, career path, decision making and control of work, interpersonal relations at work.

The adopted and optimised methodology would be a strategic tool for the implementation of the evaluation and management process as well as for the establishment of a continuous implementation system that systematically collects data, in order to enable the development of research activities over time. Following the creation of this organised database, the aim is not only to update and continuously increase the effectiveness of the methodology, nor to offer a replicable tool to create a benchmark between times and places, but also to give the opportunity for a targeted managerial intervention that would be more effective. It is also stated that during 2022, several interventions are planned based on the results of the survey conducted in 2021. IOB plans to keep the initiative going in the next few years in order to draw attention to social and psychological changes in the workplace and prevent a high number of WSR.