Lowe and Chan's proposal for the development of common work environment metrics is long overdue. The authors' healthy work environment (HWE) framework is evidence based and illustrates the relationships between HWEs and organizational-level outcomes in a succinct yet comprehensive manner. The challenges we face in implementing their framework are related not so much to a fear of change but to a willingness to engage with multiple stakeholders and levels of government in coordinating our efforts. To date, we have lacked, at the policy level, a belief that HWEs can reduce operating costs, improve human resource utilization and, ultimately, lead to higher-quality patient care. We need a framework that will allow us to compare organizational performance in the area of health human resources in the same manner as we compare organizational outcomes in other areas. Such comparisons would allow us to further our understanding of the relationships among care providers, workplaces and organizational outcomes.
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