Do Shared Barriers When Reporting to Work During an Influenza Pandemic Influence Hospital Workers’ Willingness to Work? A Multilevel Framework

Objective Characteristics associated with interventions and barriers that influence health care workers’ willingness to report for duty during an influenza pandemic were identified. Additionally, this study examined whether workers who live in proximal geographic regions shared the same barriers and would respond to the same interventions.
Methods Hospital employees (n=2965) recorded changes in willingness to work during an influenza pandemic on the basis of interventions aimed at mitigating barriers. Distance from work, hospital type, job role, and family composition were examined by clustering the effects of barriers from reporting for duty and region of residence.
Results Across all workers, providing protection for the family was the greatest motivator for willingness to work during a pandemic. Respondents who expressed the same barriers and lived nearby shared common responses in their willingness to work. Younger employees and clinical support staff were more receptive to interventions. Increasing distance from home to work was significantly associated with a greater likelihood to report to work for employees who received time off.
Conclusions Hospital administrators should consider the implications of barriers and areas of residence on the disaster response capacity of their workforce. Our findings underscore communication and development of preparedness plans to improve the resilience of hospital workers to mitigate absenteeism (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2015;9:175-185).

Hospital Preparedness
Workforce Readiness
Pandemic Flu