Employee burnout isn’t overrated. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies employee burnout as an occupational phenomenon resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.
Research shows that approximately 1 in 3 healthcare workers experiences burnout at any given time. Owing to its growing negative impact on the healthcare staff’s quality of life, this topic has been gaining much interest in recent years.
Healthcare workers have been our true frontline heroes, especially during the pandemic. They continue to overwork and tackle several stressful and complicated cases. Hence, they need to be physically, mentally, and emotionally sound.
Technology has a huge role to play in improving workplace efficiency and reducing unwanted stress. Hence, in this post, we will focus on how technology can be leveraged to minimize healthcare burnout.
1. Unify Communications Using a Universal Collaboration Hub
When tackling complex medical cases, mundane administrative tasks can bog down healthcare workers, thereby causing stress.
For instance, back and forth emails or communication can be a challenge when healthcare workers need to prioritize patient care or high-value tasks.
Similarly, manual processes like scanning and faxing are not just time-consuming and frustrating but also expensive.
Bringing efficiency to these administrative tasks can go a long way in reducing workplace stress. A universal collaboration hub or a universal inbox, for instance, can greatly reduce communication redundancies and ensure the exchange of information as per the healthcare reporting standards.
2. Optimize Your Electronic Health Records
Issues with the EHR are one of the major contributors to healthcare worker stress and burnout.
These records are used to collect and record patient information like medical history, diagnosis, and treatment plan. However, when the system doesn’t work properly it may cause frustration among the healthcare staff, adding to their stress.
Thus, using an improved EHR system is the most effective way to overcome this challenge. Moreover, the healthcare staff should be a part of the software development process, allowing them to share user experience issues if any.
Finally, healthcare businesses should invest in AI-enabled tools that are quicker at creating and updating care plans, meeting compliance standards, and improving team communication. Workplace automation can hugely improve efficiency and prevent burnout.
3. Invest in a Staff Scheduling Software
A well-designed staff scheduling software enables hospitals and medical institutions to streamline their processes, thus translating into better patient care and improved staff experience.
Once such software is in place, the healthcare staff can work stress-free and focus on what they are good at managing, healthcare situations, and emergencies. They are better able to communicate with the management and peers and follow accurate schedules.
All this eventually leads to improved efficiency and lesser overtime.
Using this platform, employees collaborate effortlessly as per their schedules. This mitigates a lot of scheduling conflicts that could cause confusion and frustration among the healthcare staff.
The software also minimizes errors in time-off requests, clearly stating the staff availability in case of healthcare emergencies. Thus, investing in staff scheduling for healthcare providers is a must if you are aiming at improving efficiency and employee satisfaction.
4. Introduce Self-Service Kiosks
In the healthcare realm, demands are at an all-time high. Though hospitals and medical institutions are looking forward to serving patients, it causes intense stress among the staff, often leading to burnout.
Moreover, in a chaotic situation, the risk of errors and accidents is high. For instance, doctors and clinicians often have no time to spare hence their handwriting may not be legible to all.
This can cause the administrative staff to misread critical patient information and enter it incorrectly in the hospital database.
To overcome these issues, it’s wise to invest in self-service kiosks. These standalone booths are designed for high-traffic areas like hospitals. They not just reduce the risk of errors but also make the process quick and secure.
Plus, they allow the hospital staff to keep track of everyone entering and leaving the building, giving the management more control and creating a safe healthcare environment for all.
5. Count on Remote Monitoring Tools
When the pandemic was at its peak, several hospitals reported a shortage of staff. The primary reasons were excessive burnout, lack of communication with other healthcare workers and patients, and financial strain.
However, the rapid digitization during this period allowed healthcare institutions to use technologies like remote vital sign monitoring technologies. This technology took the excessive burden off the healthcare workers when the in-patient visits were down.
AI-powered remote monitoring systems are taking telehealth to the next level. For healthcare providers, patients residing in faraway locations are just a video call away.
They are using innovative tools to get a real-time look at the vitals, such as their heart rate, heart rate variability, oxygen saturation levels, respiration rates, treatment adherence, and even their mental stress levels.
What’s more? An AI-enabled nurse can easily help with administrative and repetitive tasks, allowing healthcare workers to work in areas where a human touch is required.
Thus, remote patient monitoring allows doctors and healthcare aides to quickly record and monitor critical patient data and upload and share it with their team. This further transcends the communication barriers while delivering a renewed level of patient care.
6. Use of Advanced Wearable Medical Devices
The global wearable medical devices market valued at USD 16.6 billion in 2020 is now expected to expand at a CAGR of 26.8% between 2021 and 2028. These devices offer two-fold benefits to healthcare staff.
- This allows the staff to track patient wellbeing and deliver precise and timely care and treatment while working remotely.
For instance, these devices proved to be quite useful when many healthcare workers were quarantined at home after exposure to COVID-19. The staff felt empowered to perform their duties and manage patients remotely.
All this reduces unnecessary patient visits, speeds up the discharge process, and improves job satisfaction, team performance, and work productivity.
- Health monitoring through wearables ensured the well-being of physicians and other frontline staff. These smart devices can detect signs of cognitive overload, track sleep quality, and signs of depression, anxiety, and stress using several parameters.
For instance, the E4 wristband collects physiological changes indicative of the wearer’s sympathetic nervous system activity. It uses digital biomarkers like pulse rate, electrodermal activity, skin temperature, electromyography, and accelerometry to determine the wearer’s wellbeing.
Such devices facilitate just-in-time interventions, thereby upholding the healthcare professionals’ overall wellbeing and allowing them to perform at their optimal level.
7. Simplify Complicated Guidelines and Protocols with Mobile Apps
An overload of medical information, protocols, and guidelines can be overwhelming for healthcare professionals and their staff. At times, they are not updated or even wrong. This can cause a lot of heartburn.
With the advancement of technology, today we have mobile applications like avoMD that can simplify complex medical guidelines and protocols, thus delivering bite-sized and evidence-based information to the team.
So, using such technologies, healthcare teams can easily access standardized pathways at the point of care. All this improves the overall process efficiency and eases the pressure on healthcare teams, hence reducing burnout.
Pandemic or no pandemic, the healthcare staff constantly always has feelings of exhaustion and overload. A lot of this is related to inefficient processes and the use of conventional processes and tools.
Technology has and always will offer innovative ways to make processes easier and more efficient. The same applied to the healthcare domain.
We are confident that you will use the information shared in this post to boost productivity and reduce burnout for your healthcare business staff.