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CP14 - Exploring Provider Stress and the Relationship to Recruitment and Retention in a Community Health Center System

‐ Aug 18, 2021 11:13pm

CP14 - Exploring Provider Stress and the Relationship to Recruitment and Retention in a Community Health Center System

Poster Type: Research

Track/Topic: A. T. Still University; Workforce

Research Objectives: The purpose of this study is to understand factors that affect primary care working conditions in community health centers and safety-net clinics and determine if there is a relationship between provider stress and recruitment and retention within the North Country HealthCare (NCHC) system.

Research Study Design/Methods: The NCHC administration asked its clinical providers to complete the Primary Care Provider Stress Checklist (PCP-SC) to assess stress in healthcare settings as it relates to the domains of patient interaction, practice management, administrative issues, education/learning, and relationships with colleagues, and work/life balance. NCHC also monitors clinical provider turnover as a part of continuous quality improvement within the organization. Using the results of the PCP-SC, organizational leadership targeted domains contributing to the stress of clinical providers for intervention and looked for interval changes in clinical provider turnover.

Research Principal Findings and Quantitative/Qualitative Results: PCP-SC was completed by 48 clinical providers in 2018 and 72 clinical providers in 2019 working at NCHC. Data analysis shows that interactions with patients, practice management, and administrative issues are the domains that contribute most to the stress in the providers of NCHC clinics. We were able to identify the specific interactions within each domain that contributed most to clinician stress. A review of the turnover rate within the NCHC health system showed a significant decrease from 2018 (27.8) to 2020 (12).

Research Conclusions on Impact on Health Centers: Recruiting and retaining a strong clinical workforce has become a pressing concern among the nation’s community health centers. An increased rate of turnover of healthcare providers in a clinic can disrupt patient care and impact organizational stability. A better understanding of the stressors that impact clinical providers can help minimize the number of vacancies, save money, improve the quality of patient care, and ensure the provision of health care services in the community. Results of this project have been used to inform the development of provider support and retention strategies for health centers within the NCHC system.


Surekha Appikatla, MPH, Data Informatics Specialist, A.T. Still University

April Alvarez-Corona, MD, Chief Medical Officer, North Country HealthCare Inc.

Ebony Whisenant, MD, Assoc. Prof., Family Med and Public Health, Director, PCTE Fellowship, A. T. Still University, School Of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona