The healthcare industry is facing a staffing crisis like it's never seen before. A February 2022 USA Today and Ipsos poll found almost a quarter of healthcare workers were likely to leave the field in the near future due to the pandemic. And even before COVID, hospitals witnessed record turnover.
The truth is that health systems can’t out-recruit the problem. There are only so many medical professionals. Teams need to be more resilient to the many contributors to burnout that sway providers to flee the field. And the right healthtech can help.
But what should leaders prioritize when choosing a solution from a growing pool of digital health offerings — especially as EHRs themselves have started contributing to burnout?
Let’s dive into a few functions to look for in digital healthcare platforms to effectively improve healthcare workforce resilience.
1. Digitize and automate administrative tasks with digital healthcare
Several aspects of working in healthcare contribute to burnout. But one stand-out reason workers are leaving the industry is the sheer amount of administrative tasks placed on their shoulders.
Up to 25% of a physician’s day is spent completing routine tasks. That’s a quarter of the time at work when providers could be focusing on caring for patients who need them the most — the reason why many clinicians enter the field in the first place. Equally concerning, healthcare workers often spend more time after work completing administrative tasks.
Digital health platforms that digitize and automate more routine aspects of care — communicating pre-visit instructions, appointment follow-ups, and patient check-ins — can help your providers destress. And as care teams have clearer plates, they can concentrate more on performing at the top of their license.
2. Streamline patient-facing care management using SMS-based digital health
The past few years have witnessed an explosion of smartphone health apps — from appointment schedulers to medical information portals. Hospitals everywhere have hopped on the bandwagon. But how effective are these patient-facing applications?
One report found that even though 90% of providers offered portals to patients, only 30% of people actually used them. On top of that, the need for broadband or wireless to use smartphone applications could present health equity barriers.
But 81% of Americans text regularly. That’s why digital care management innovators like Memora Health use SMS to help patients easily access support throughout their care journeys. And when people can more easily engage with an intelligent digital health solution, that means fewer inbox messages and phone calls for your providers.
3. Opt for single-sign-on (SSO) applications for your healthcare workforce
Going hand-in-hand with administrative work, care teams often experience friction between tasks. A KLAS study found that challenges healthcare workers encounter with EHRs contribute significantly to burnout — along with eroding trust in current infrastructure among the workforce. Furthermore, the same research discovered clinicians who lose trust in IT leadership are more likely to leave their organizations.
Carefully choosing the right healthtech that empowers providers is no longer optional — it’s necessary for satisfying and retaining your talent.
It’s imperative to find the right digital health solution that not only solves a problem, but seamlessly integrates with existing technology. Pick care management solutions that use SSO and that easily meld with your current infrastructure to reduce operational friction all-too-often associated with introducing new innovations to care teams.
4. Adopt digital healthcare platforms that use AI and natural language processing (NLP)
One key reason patients don’t use portals is because they want to speak directly with physicians. But requiring providers to talk with their patients every time they have a question would only contribute to friction in the workplace.
That’s where digital health technology that leverages AI and NLP play a critical role. Consider innovations that go beyond providing text appointment reminders to intelligently check in with patients and answer their questions. The more your digital healthcare platform can eliminate problems for your care teams — instead of creating more noise for them — the more your clinicians can focus on the patients who need care the most.
When it comes to fostering more resilient teams, healthcare leaders have a lot of work to do. A global pandemic, increasing patient volumes, and diminishing peer support all contribute to the staffing crisis the industry faces today. But the best digital healthcare platforms can at least eliminate routine tasks and operational friction for workers — and give them more time back during and after work hours.
Learn how digital health platforms can help you unburden your workforce.