The healthcare workforce today is facing plenty of challenges that are keeping them from finding the right work-life balance. The shortage in this field is putting extra pressure on the existing workforce. Further compounding the concerns over burnout and poor care coordination. Besides, so much focus on this problem area, there is a rising concern that the technology used is increasingly insufficient. More than 73 percent of healthcare providers use medical equipment that runs on legacy systems (source). So, the burden of dated technology only adds to the surmounting pressure.
Technical innovations can help facilities tackle healthcare challenges by giving much-needed support to their workforce. Such innovations can streamline administrative tasks and processes within your organization. But, you must ensure that you follow proper implementation, training, and user guides. Moreover, you should implement data security practices while integrating these technologies into your healthcare system.
Here we talk about a few challenges plaguing the current healthcare workforce and the technical innovations to tackle them.
1) High turnover rate
Healthcare has the second worst turnover rate. Moreover, the findings of the latest NSI National Healthcare Retention and RN Staffing Report reveal that in the last five years, the average hospital turned over 100.5 percent of its workforce. All in all, the reasons for the high turnover rate include inconsistent management style, overworking, no career advancement, inadequate benefits, and few opportunities for career development among others.
Organizations looking to overcome healthcare challenges that contribute to high turnover rates can do so with the help of technology. Basically, facilities can streamline administrative tasks by implementing efficient health information systems that automate processes. Chiefly, this includes automating patient documentation, record-keeping, and scheduling. Also, by reducing administrative burdens, your healthcare workforce can focus more on patient care. Thus, it can increase job satisfaction and reduce turnover.
Similarly, implementing learning management systems can offer learning resources to teach skills and create a sense of growth within the organization. Also, you can use performance management tools to provide continuous feedback and support to ensure that your staff feels valued, supported, and motivated to stay in the organization. IBM uses a learning management system called IMB learning to help its employees with collaborative learning opportunities including virtual classrooms and self-paced modules. Similarly, Amazon uses a performance management system called Talent Management System to track employee performance, give continuous feedback, and develop talent.
The demanding work schedules and shortage of staff lead to high burnout. Therefore, healthcare facilities, hospitals, and nursing clinics must find solutions to resolve this challenge for the healthcare workforce.
Implementing advanced scheduling and staffing software can help optimize staff allocation, reduce burnout, and improve work-life balance. These systems can consider factors like employee preferences, workload distribution, and skill matching. After considering these factors, they ensure a fair and efficient schedule that aligns with staff needs.
You can find out which employee has been working on a very tight schedule and needs time off. Also, you can know how many employees possess the same skill set and cover for others when they are on leave or caught in an emergency.
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3)Poor care coordination
In most healthcare systems, the care coordination is quite broken with it being labor extensive and expensive. Poor care coordination can lead to treatment delays as time gets lost during communication. Also, the healthcare workforce of facilities with huge patient backlogs is already behind schedule and can feel overworked when patient care takes time.
By applying technology that leverages data and automation you can integrate EHR data with other data sources in real-time. By doing this, you can automate the workflow, tasks, and activities of your healthcare workforce. With such an approach, you can scale care coordination consistently across teams. Your staff will have more time to spend with patients who need it the most. Thus, it can improve operating efficiency and productivity.
4) Outdated technology deciding patient outcomes
One of the major healthcare challenges that systems face is moving the patient from an acute care facility to a long-term care or assisted living facility. Often healthcare staff can leave it a little too late to move patients. This can lead to spending more time on a particular patient than necessary. Above all, it can prevent your staff from helping others.
Predictive modelling and AI technology can help you decide the outcome of your patients faster. By doing this, you can get the right information about patients and their current stage. Triggers from patient monitoring and real-time patient feedback can help you take the step of shifting patients or sending them home at the right time without putting extra pressure on your healthcare workforce.
Many factors like time-consuming tasks that can be automated and long work hours can lead to burnout among your healthcare staff. However, it is important to address and validate these concerns right away so that they do not affect you adversely in the long run. By leveraging technology, you can ease the burden on your staff and optimize their time effectively.
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