Insights on Institutional Fatigue: Combating Healthcare Worker Burnout and Improving Patient Care

Improving workflows

A practical way to improve workflows involves streamlining processes with technology. Care teams should do as much as possible to enhance the quality of electronic health records by automating whatever processes they can.

This includes integrating evidence-based resources into EHRs. Doing so allows for a collaborative exchange of information among teams. These resources also facilitate offering clear explanations to patients and allowing them the time to dig into the details and understand them instead of receiving them from hurried health workers. An ideal tool for accomplishing this goal, UpToDate® Patient Engagement, which simplifies information for patients and minimizes workflow challenges.

Enhancing care continuity

Knowledge velocity has also become a genuine issue for care teams. There’s an overwhelming amount of information for health workers to process. Assimilating and sharing that data eats up time, can lead to avoidable mistakes, and can disrupt care continuity when miscommunication occurs.

Once again, technology can do a lot of the heavy lifting and eliminate duplicative work that is a waste of energy and emotionally frustrating. Integrating clinical decision support systems into EHRs saves time and ensures care continuity.

A top tool for this, UpToDate® Lexidrug™, which provides quick access to drug content, lessening misprescription and speeding up any decision involving medication. Also, UpToDate® is a comprehensive resource with information on diseases and conditions that expedites care and lets doctors and nurses spend more time interacting with patients and each other.

In fact, UpToDate has proven itself as a key element in improving patient care and increasing efficiency. For example, a Harvard study of over 1,000 hospitals associated the use of this tool with saving over 372,000 hospital days per year.

Addressing burnout for health workers as it arises

Despite the best efforts, instances of burnout will still occur. However, a proactive approach can mitigate the consequences.

Healthcare leadership can begin by measuring burnout with practical analytical tools instead of relying on engagement surveys and turnover rates. Self-reporting often discovers problems when it’s too late instead of identifying the signals that precede burnout. For example, click analyses can identify areas of frustration with tools and lead teams to better software solutions that improve workflows.

Additionally, investing in the position of a Chief Wellness Officer can bring a great return on investment as employees have a liaison to the C-suite. When healthcare professionals feel heard, they can reduce the negative feelings that foment burnout.

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