Healthcare organizations and their frontline clinical workforces have absorbed the brunt of the pandemic, along with bearing the emotional toll of witnessing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of individuals due to COVID-19. Across the country, many organizations are facing the same problem—how to do more with less. Many healthcare organizations are solving this problem by tasking existing people with more responsibilities, a decision that puts their staff at an increased risk of burnout.
According to a recent Becker’s Health Review survey, 70 percent of nurses report feeling exhausted and burnt out—costing the healthcare system an estimated 14 billion. A recent Nurse Grid survey interviewed approximately 10,000 nurses and found four in 10 nurses said they plan to leave patient care at the end of 2021. Reflecting on the dramatic decline of career fulfillment among nurses, Ellen Kuebrich, Senior Director of Quality and Compliance Solutions at HealthStream, explains that some 41 percent of nurses gave high ratings to their level of fulfillment in September 2020. A year later in September 2021, the responses decreased significantly—only 26 percent said they were really fulfilled. In another recent study from the American Medical Association that interviewed 21,000 physicians and other workers, some 38 percent self-reported they were struggling with anxiety or depression, another 43 percent said they struggled with work overload, and 49 percent said they were facing burnout.
Kuebrich says, “We’re in a situation where we’re being asked to do more with less—more regulations, more care, more comorbidities, more resentment, more hours, and more tragedy with less reimbursement, less people, less equipment, and less PPE. We’ve got to put our people and their wellbeing first, and that means we have to take some things off their plates.”
Technology can be leveraged to streamline some of the painful and tedious processes, while simultaneously making it harder for a team to make mistakes. In addition, there are other benefits that come with leveraging technology to reduce human error. Kuebrich explains, “When we automate processes, it has real and positive repercussions on our workforce. It increases bandwidth, ensures compliance, makes your organization more efficient, and reduces the chance for error, which keeps your team and your patients safe. And I know that that's where we want to get to.” The following are six benefits of using technology to reduce errors:
“Our vision as a company is to improve the quality of healthcare by developing the people that deliver that care,” says Kuebrich. “So in quality and compliance, specifically, the way that we do that is by making safety a priority. At the end of the day, when we utilize systems, we reduce error and increase safety. And by helping you create this culture of safety, we know that we can improve outcomes and keep you and your teams moving forward in a time where it's really hard to take that next step.” HealthStream’s approach to creating a culture of safety is demonstrated by the following three priorities:
“We have solutions that ensure safe processes and make it really hard for anyone on your team to do the wrong thing that would create an unsafe environment,” explains Kuebrich. “That includes our policy manager solution, our conflict of interest solution, and our quality management solution.”
Kuebrich explains that new legislation is going to massively increase the amount of resources that are necessary to manage your conflict of interest disclosures. The COI management solution offers comprehensive streamlined COI processes, and it has a proven track record in over 1,200 hospitals nationwide. Explaining the program, Kuebrich says, “This solution is going to help you to automate a pretty manual disclosure process that we see nationwide. It's going to improve efficiency, accuracy, and turnaround time, and it's going to reduce your risk and cost.” The amount of time spent on activities can be significantly reduced by driving efficiencies through automation, such as through the following:
HealthStream’s Policy Manager Solution is a cloud-based policy and procedure management system. It also has document publishing and version control, and it condenses your documents and your policies into a searchable resource that automatically distributes, tracks, attests, and organizes all policies and procedures. Some of the offerings include:
Reflecting on the question of if technology can replace a caregiver, Kuebrich says, “Absolutely not, but it could free up a caregiver to give care. When we automate processes, eliminate human error, create efficiencies that didn’t exist before—that’s where we’re going to come out of this hole as an industry, and come out by taking care of our people and our teams.”
This blog is based off the webinar, To Err is Human: Increase Efficiency and Patient Safety through Proven Technology. Learn more about how HealthStream’s solutions can increase efficiency and patient safety at your organization.
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