By Adrian Johansen, freelance writer; @AdrianJohanse18.
Nursing burnout has been called a pandemic second to COVID-19, and it’s co-terrorizing society with its consequences for healthcare. Exhausted, overburdened medical professionals cannot be expected to do their best work. Yet pandemic conditions have often forced untenable hours on medical staff. Fortunately, however, innovations in technology and healthcare support are changing the playing field.
By allowing for remote work options in the medical field, opening up automation potential, and streamlining communication across healthcare, tech is relieving stress and labor. This acts as a buffer against burnout at a time when it is most needed.
Technology and other healthcare supports make working in healthcare a better experience. As a result, medical professionals are getting much-needed disruptions in their work processes that translate to reduced rates of burnout. Explore these technologies and what they offer healthcare workers.
Making Remote Care Possible
One of the most groundbreaking tech trends of the COVID-era has been telehealth. These virtual care options connect doctors to patients from wherever they can safely and privately conduct a screening. From here, all kinds of positive disruptions are emerging. Paired with point-of-care (POC) tech, remote patient monitoring is more accessible than it has ever been. But how does this prevent burnout in healthcare workers?
Telehealth options for care professionals have been vital in keeping a reserve staff safe from COVID exposure while others fight on the front lines. Additionally, it can work as a means of allowing workers distance from the job without sacrificing their time and talents. That’s because technology currently supports all manner of virtual services. These include:
- General wellness visits
- Prescription management
- Mental health counseling
- Eye care
Increasingly, these services are being expanded to include all kinds of diagnostic and monitoring procedures. Care professionals can alleviate burnout at least in part by transitioning to a telehealth role for a time, allowing them to treat patients while taking a step back and potentially creating a stronger work-life balance.
With surveyed consumers expressing between 40%-60% positive sentiment for broadening virtual health offerings, telehealth systems will only expand to create more opportunities for treatments. This could lead to all new roles within medical staffing, with flexible options including remote work.
Through this diversity in care options, providers themselves gain more of a say in their own workflow. As a result, healthcare workers can guiltlessly step away to take over a virtual element of patient engagement as needed. This has the potential to streamline the way providers manage their time.
Automating Data Entry
In a similar vein, care providers can save time through automation opportunities inherent in technology. Automation is particularly useful in managing electronic health records (EHRs), vital resources for recording and transferring medical histories. That’s because these systems are composed and powered by data. With the right algorithms, nurses and doctors are automating many of the most time-consuming data entry and maintenance tasks to cut down on overwhelming workloads.
Automation across claims and revenue management systems, for example, speeds up the flow of financial data while improving the quality of medical coding. From here, re-work effort alone standardizing records for clinical documentation can be reduced by 30% to 40%. Automation is key for a workforce facing overwhelming odds. Fortunately, the deployment of AI supports workers in cutting down coding and administrative compliance when it comes to EHRs.
Some researchers are taking automated note-taking to a new level. In a collaboration between UPMC and Abridge, an AI-enabled transcription system has been used to produce verbal and written records of doctor visits to patients and physicians alike. This kind of natural language processing (NLP) tech can transform the nature of record-keeping, reducing burnout through labor reduction.
But producing automatic records of visits is only one element of communication that healthcare support tech is empowering. Clinical collaboration systems streamline healthcare management, on the whole, enabling a transparent virtual home for all of a clinic’s staffing and messaging needs. Since over 80% of medical mistakes as well as high turnover rates are attributed to miscommunication, the application of these systems is a must.
Communication tools help alleviate burnout in the medical field by providing convenience, mobile readiness, and HIPAA compliance all in a comprehensive package. From these platforms, medical staff can get the latest updates, schedules, alerts, and more. By using collaborative systems, secure transparency can be maintained across an institution, allowing for greater support of all hospital staff.
With these insight and efficiency tools, care staff are best positioned for streamlined care. From here, schedules, treatments, and more can be optimized with machine precision, reducing the overall workload in a facility. As a result, nurses, doctors, and other care professionals may find opportunities for time away or change in work medium that cut down on burnout.
Relieving Burnout in Healthcare
Nothing plays a role in healthcare burnout quite like technology. Care staff already fight against several constraints—from exposure to deadly illnesses to administrative burden. Archaic tech only fuels the frustration these professionals encounter on the job. Fortunately, modern technology offers telehealth, automation, and communication potential that can reduce the burnout experienced by medical staff.
Healthcare workers have had enough to worry about throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Relieve burnout in your own clinic by investing in new technology where possible.