The papers by Shamian and El-Jardali, "Healthy Workplaces for Health Workers in Canada," and by Clements, Dault and Priest, "Effective Teamwork in Healthcare," examine what makes the health workplace healthier, one from the perspective of workers and the other from the perspective of patients. Patients demand effective teamwork. Workers demand a range of initiatives, from occupational health and safety to professional development opportunities. Whereas patients' and workers' perspectives on healthy workplaces appear quite discrete as discussed in these papers, they are two sides of the same coin.

Both lead papers recognize that unhealthy work environments result in unhealthy workers and reduced health outcomes for patients. Both review research documenting effective change and some progress in acceptance of proposed solutions at the policy level. Most importantly, both call for a greater effort in making these changes a reality in Canadian health workplaces.

The papers themselves offer up some strategies for getting from yes to real. This commentary focuses on these and other strategies for moving forward and getting real change in the workplace, changes that workers and patients will talk about.


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    Healthcare Quarterly, 10(2) April 2007

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