Overcoming Staffing Challenges with Digital Health Technology

Overcoming Staffing Challenges with Digital Health Technology

Author: LouAnn Bala, VP of Product Management, GetWell

Prior to the pandemic, healthcare was facing a crisis—a growing shortage of nurses. This has only intensified with COVID-19 and the immense stress that nurses are under as the patient-to-care staff ratio increases, compromising the level of care nurses expect and want to deliver. Nursing burnout is a substantial root cause identified by nurses choosing to leave the profession. Nursing shortages are contributing to unit closures and delays in care.

It’s not just nurses that are feeling the effects of understaffing. Caring for the most vulnerable members of Canada’s population, long-term care facilities across provinces have paused admissions due to staffing levels. According to the Ontario Health Coalition’s report, the acute shortage of personal care workers (PSWs) is putting so much pressure on healthcare workers’ ability to deliver at best adequate care, that many are choosing to leave the profession, creating a vicious cycle of turnover.

Healthcare teams are physically and emotionally drained. Despite the challenges, hospitals, administrators, and the majority of nursing staff are looking for a better way to do what they do best, providing care for patients. With the advent of digital technology platforms, we now have an opportunity to take care of healthcare’s most precious resources, the caregivers.

Digital Transformation Makes Healthcare More Human

It may seem counter intuitive, but technology can actually help healthcare workers deliver not only a better standard of care, but one that is more human and compassionate along every step of the patient healthcare journey.

In hospitals digital transformation can:

  • Connect patients in their beds with nurses, using in-room smart technology
  • Boost staff efficiency by extending nurses’ reach and giving them more time to spend on what matters most
  • Optimize nursing workflows, reduce overtime, and work more efficiently.
  • Reducing the burnout and overabundant stressors that challenge nurses’ mental and physical health

The benefits of digital transformation aren’t limited to your healthcare campus. For patients with non-emergent healthcare needs, telehealth has proven to be a lifeline, helping them remain at home and reap the benefits of access to healthcare services. In fact, many patients prefer virtual telemedicine visits as opposed to physically visiting their physician’s office for routine care.

Telehealth streamlines wellness appointments and check-ups, protecting staff and enabling them to be more productive throughout their day. On average, physicians who use telemedicine are seeing a reduction in visit times by about 20%, with the average visit time in one study as low as 12 minutes. Those minutes can add up, allowing clinicians to optimize workflows, see more patients and reducing access issues which can help reduce burnout and improve satisfaction.

While perhaps not a completely comprehensive answer—there are many aspects to staffing shortages—digital health technology is a step in the right direction, addressing many of the key factors leading to burnout.

Flexible Healthcare Technology

A veteran in digital health technology, Get Well has helped healthcare organizations differentiate themselves in meaningful and measurable ways for more than 20 years. By offloading non-clinical tasks through automation, nurses and PSWs can focus on higher value activities and practice at the top of their license. Get Well’s portfolio of solutions can strengthen your staff’s ability to deliver care across your campus and beyond.

GetWell Loop provides remote patient monitoring tools that enable triage of patients and remote monitoring, reducing the stressors overwhelming the healthcare system. This cross-continuum communication improves care team coordination, reduces redundancies, and leads to better patient outcomes. It also boosts efficiency by streamlining data collection and increases staff productivity 6-12 minutes on average per patient visit.

GetWell Rounds+ is the number 1 KLAS ranked digital rounding, reporting and real-time service recovery solution, designed to streamline data collection and reduce documentation time. Data captured during rounding automatically triggers real-time alerts on service recovery issues, giving nurses the ability to triage tasks to appropriate departments.

GetWell Inpatient helps you prioritize resources to optimize clinical staff and connect patients with resources for non-clinical needs. A dynamic, omni-channel solution. GetWell Inpatient proactively delivers the right information at the right time to patients, empowering them to self-manage while quipping your staff with the insights needed to deliver excellent service and higher quality care.

FlexHealth Powered by FlexITy

By leveraging the state-of-the-art solutions provided by FlexITy, healthcare professionals can offer significantly better care to patients along their healthcare journey. FlexHealth is the first patient engagement platform utilized in a Canadian hospital, leading the way for greater patient-centric care. This solution removes the challenge of inefficient patient data collection and recording—a leading factor in burnout—to optimize clinical workflows, deliver more favorable outcomes, and improve patient care and satisfaction.

FlexHealth happens with the robust IoT integration of technology from partners like Cisco. A combined smart solution with a centralized digital centre, the most trusted and reliable health data security, connected mobile devices and applications, and advanced analytics with reporting capabilities.

To learn more about FlexHealth patient-engagement solutions, reserve your spot for a VIP tour of our Canadian hospital room to see for yourself.