Boosting Healthcare Staff Support: Four Ways Technology Can Make a Difference
The talent shortage in the healthcare industry is a serious problem—and may continue to worsen before it gets better.
According to BDO’s 2023 Healthcare CFO Outlook Survey, 71% of healthcare CFOs reported the talent shortage as a top threat this year. As regular visits to primary care physicians have risen to pre-pandemic levels and fewer clinicians are entering the industry, provider organizations must get creative to address labor shortages and increase workforce resilience.
Investing in state-of-the-art technology can help alleviate talent shortages and potentially retain current employees. With the right technology, provider organizations can automate certain tasks, streamline care, increase patient access and optimize clinician scheduling to prevent burnout.
While overhauling or evaluating current technology systems, software and processes may seem like a daunting task, it could be the difference between struggling to staff your provider organization or thriving with a workforce which has the tools necessary to succeed.
Here are four ways to use technology to increase workforce resilience:
1. Automate wherever possible to improve the patient experience and reduce the burden on staff.
Any task with the capability to be automated should be when it can reduce the burden on staff. For example, can your organization use robotics to deliver medication from the pharmacy to the nurse’s station? Or to bring water to patients? While these tasks may seem small, the time spent on them adds up quickly for health care professionals who are caring for multiple patients at a time.
2. Integrate the patient care experience.
Health care systems must find ways to seamlessly integrate the in-person, virtual and home care experiences. Integrating your virtual platform with your in-person system can free up beds, improve patient outcomes and reduce the need for additional staff. Integration may require establishing a digital command center to manage the system and reskilling or upskilling current staff. Once rolled out, organizations can provide services such as remote patient monitoring for visits which typically must happen in person, such as pre- and post-op care. Remote monitoring or virtual visits can be led by physician assistants or nurses, in addition to physicians, to ease staffing shortages.
3. Enhance the staff experience.
While nearly three-quarters of CFOs are worried about the talent shortage, only 34% plan to invest in digital transformation this year, which could be a missed opportunity to address staffing challenges. Optimizing your organization’s electronic health record (EHR) system, streamlining systems with multiple logins or disparate data and providing flexible work options are all opportunities to better support your workforce.
4. Include your staff in technology changes.
Involving staff who will use new technology each day is a crucial step many organizations overlook. Whenever a health system wants to change or integrate new technology, staff members from each department who will be impacted should be included in the decision-making process with IT. This step ensures their input is considered when determining what changes are necessary, whether the changes will improve their workflows and the best ways to roll out new systems to their teams.
By investing in quality technology for your organization, you can help alleviate employee burnout during these pressing times. Get in contact with our Trusted IT Advisors to begin implementing an automated, capacity-building future.